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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK
Potter sets new online sales record
Amazon staff pack the new Harry Potter novel
All hands on deck at Amazon's warehouse
The fifth Harry Potter novel has notched up a record number of advance orders, according to the UK arm of online bookseller Amazon.

The company said on Wednesday it had received over 350,000 pre-orders for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, smashing the previous record of 65,000 set by its predecessor, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Last week, Amazon UK's parent company said that with worldwide advance orders totalling 875,000, delivery of the novel is set to become the biggest distribution of any single item in e-commerce history.

Amazon UK's advance order figures come amid warnings from the Post Office in Scotland that delivering the 768-page hardback books, which weigh over one kilogram each, could pose a health and safety risk to staff.

Amazon UK said it had received orders from across Britain and from 150 other countries, including Barbados, Nepal, Fiji, and Tanzania.

The company will package and ship the novel from a secure warehouse in Milton Keynes.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which comes out on Saturday, has all the makings of a once-in-a-lifetime publishing sensation.

Interest in the novel, the first in the popular series since August 2000, has been spurred by reports that its plot includes the death of one of the regular cast of characters.

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