I don't know about you, but I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan (Go Ravenclaw!). My Nana got me the first book before it was even released in the U.S. and I was hooked! I was 11 when I read the first book, the same age Harry Potter was when he received his letter from Hogwarts, so of course I figured my letter would be coming any day.
Joanne Kathleen Rowling started working on the Harry Potter idea in 1981. It is said J. K. Rowling sent her preliminary copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to 12 publishers before it was accepted and published. The first book, Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, was published in 1997 by Bloomsbury in London with an initial print run of 500 copies. The 7th and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had an initial print run of 12 million copies in the U.S. alone.
Books 1-7 were published as follows:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ("Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in the U.S) (UK release: June 26, 1997; US release January 9, 1998)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (UK release: July 2, 1998; US release February 6, 1999)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (UK release: July 8, 1999; US release August 9, 1999)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (UK & US releases: July 8, 2000)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (UK & US releases: June 21, 2003)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (UK & US releases: July 16, 2005)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (UK & US releases: July 21, 2007)
The books, which chronicled Harry’s struggles against his enemy, He-who-must-not-be-named (Lord Voldemort), have sold over 400 million copies and been translated into more than 60 languages. The series is also credited with boosting childhood literacy around the globe. The series spawned a series of blockbuster films, video games and other merchandise, transforming J.K. Rowling, a broke single mother when she penned the first book, into the highest-earning author in history.