Alabama’s Books-A-Milion looks to capitalize on ‘Watchman’

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” has set a new standard for early sales by Alabama-based Books-A-Million.

CEO Terrance Finely tells AL.com his firm has taken more pre-orders for the book, written by one of Alabama’s most famous natives, than any other book for adults.

“Watchman” still falls short of Harry Potter sales, but Books-A-Million classifies J.K. Rowling’s series as a children’s work.

Finley said the company placed a special emphasis on Lee’s second novel because of how important she and her first novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” have been to Alabama.

Books-A-Million has traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 1992. The company reported a $2.9 million net income of $2.9 million last year, but has finished two of the last four fiscal years with net losses.