Okay, I had to do it . . .

Scott William Carter   March 13, 2007  

Apropos of yesterday’s post, I got bitten by the curiosity bug and had to do it. Here’s the word counts of the Harry Potter books (based on Scholastic’s published information):

I – 76,944
II – 85,141
III – 107,253
IV – 190,637
V -257,045
VI -168,923

Total: 885,943 words

If we assume that all monies related to the books (movies, toys, etc.) all directly flow from the books themselves (which we should, since none of those things would have happened without the books), then a billion dollars in income translates into the following word rate:

$1,000,000,000 / 885,943 words = $1128.74 per word

All I can say is . . . wow. Most writers would be happy with a word rate starting to the right of the decimal point.