Amazon having a 'wizard' time with Potter sales

Rowling in it...

Rowling in it...

Online retailer Amazon is once again set for a windfall thanks to teen wizard Harry Potter and the sixth instalment in the world-conquering series of books by J K Rowling which is release at midnight on 15 July.

The e-tail giant is also gearing itself up for the logistical nightmare of ensuring all orders are met and delivered on-time - a plan which has been six months in the making. In terms of the size of the task in hand, the company hasn't seen anything like it since the last Harry Potter book was released in 2003.

The company has received a total of 1.4 million orders worldwide for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and from midnight on Friday will begin the mammoth task of mailing out the 672-page tomes - though the precise details of how it will do this remain shrouded in secrecy.

The company has been taking orders for the book at more than one per minute since its release date was announced last December. In the UK, Amazon.co.uk has received 350,000 orders for the book.

A spokeswoman for Amazon.co.uk told silicon.com: "The book is released at midnight on Friday and we're working very closely with Royal Mail to ensure all customers who have pre-ordered get their books on the day of release."

Amazon.co.uk has a 200,000 square foot high security warehouse where the books are being stored and the company is printing off 36 miles of address labels to send out the books. Among the recipients will be a large number of overseas servicemen in the British Armed Forces, according to Amazon as well as customers in far away locations such as South Africa and south America.

According to a spokeswoman for Amazon.co.uk, the company has even received an order which will be despatched to the Vatican City. "Perhaps even the Pope is a Harry Potter fan," said the spokeswoman.