Following a fiscal year (ended May 31) in which revenues were up about 25% to an estimated $110 million, Scholastic's trade group has continued to enjoy exceptionally strong results in the first quarter of fiscal 2000, Barbara Marcus, executive v-p, children's book publishing, told PW.

Marcus noted that it is the diversity of the company's publishing program that has led the surge in sales and earnings. For example, seven of the top 10 children's bestsellers at Barnes & Noble for the week ended August 7 were Scholastic titles”two Harry Potter hardcovers (which have a combined total of more than two million copies in print), three Pokémon books (which have more than one million copies in print), one Animorphs book, and the third volume in the Star Wars spin-off series Jedi Apprentice.

Marcus also credited relatively new additions to the editorial team (Arthur Levine, Liz Szabla) as well as a strong sales and marketing effort led by Michael Jacobs as major factors in the trade group's success.

The company's current lists comprise "something old and something new," noted Jean Feiwel, publisher of the children's book group, adding that "we're willing to take risks." New to the Scholastic list is the series Everworld by K.A. Applegate, author of the Animorphs series, as well as a new Real Teens series, which Scholastic is doing in cooperation with Teen magazine. The first two Everworld titles, Search for Senna and Land of Loss, have sold 135,000 and 112,000 copies, respectively.

This fall will also see the release of J.K. Rowling's third Harry Potter title, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which already has 920,000 copies in print after three trips to press, and the paperback release of the first Potter title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; a first printing of 750,000 has been set for the paperback. Feiwel noted that the fourth Potter book, which is still being written, will be published some time in 2000, to be released simultaneously in the U.S. and U.K. for the first time; according to Rowling, there will be seven Harry Potter books in all.