Author J.K. Rowling to Make First Appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show
J.K. Rowling is the first self-made billionaire author in history. The series of books she created about a young wizard with a lightning bolt scar have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and are currently available in 69 languages and 200 countries. While talking with Winfrey about the sudden success of the Harry Potter books, Rowling reveals the moment she knew her life had changed forever. It was while in the United States on her second book tour: "There was this enormous Barnes & Noble, and I thought, "Oh my God." And the queue snaked up the street, up the Barnes & Noble, up through four floors and they took me in the back entrance. They opened the door and they screamed. They screamed. ... That's a real standout moment for me. I knew it was getting big in that there was press attention and so on, but at that point, that for me ... was when it felt 'Beatle-esque.'"
Rowling also reveals to Winfrey that coping with the pressures of sudden stardom was not easy: "You ask about the pressure. At that point, I kept saying to people, 'Yeah, I'm coping,' ... but the truth was there were times when I was barely hanging on by a thread."
The first book in the Harry Potter series is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Since its American debut in 1998, the series of books featuring Harry Potter and his trials and tribulations at Hogwarts have gone on to continue to break industry records as some of the fastest-selling books of all time. In addition to books, the Harry Potter empire spans film, merchandise—even an amusement park. In 2001, Warner Bros. Pictures released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The film set box office records with ticket sales of more than $90 million in its first three days of release. The film franchise has gone on to become the highest-grossing movie franchise in Hollywood history raking in more than $5.3 billion at the box office. Part 1 of the seventh Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is set for release in November 2010.
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*Nielsen Cassandra Ranking Report - Nov '86 to May '99 and Wrap Sweeps, Nov '99 to May '10, major sweeps only. Wtd Avg DMA HH Rtg, Primary Telecasts Only.