Go Set a Watchman UK sales reach 100,000 – on first day of release

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird not-quite-a-sequel is flying off the shelves

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The Independent Culture

Harper Lee's long lost book Go Set a Watchman has sold more than 105,000 copies in the UK on its first day of release.

The sort-of-sequel to her 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbird reached bookshops at midnight on Tuesday, with many readers queueing to be among the first to get their hands on it.

Published William Heinemann revealed the impressive figure for print and ebooks this morning.

"It's so fabulous to see a book dominating the news agenda and to be reminded of just how important literature and reading is to all of us," publisher Susan Sandon said.

"I speak for everyone at Penguin Random House when I say how privileged we are to be part of this piece of publishing history."

First day sales numbers are not usually released by monitor Nielsen BookScan, but it has revealed some more notable successes over the years, namely the final Harry Potter novel which sold 2.65 million copies in 24 hours in 2007 and Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol which passed the 550,000 copies milestone in its first five days of release.

More recently, EL James' erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey sold almost 665,000 copies in a week in 2012, while her latest sequel Grey shifted nearly more than 647,000 copies in three days last month.


Go Set a Watchman is set 20 years after the events of Mockingbird, introducing a sexually-liberated Scout taking a train home from New York to Alabama at the age of 26 in the first chapter.