Anticipation builds in Alabama for "Go Set a Watchman"

Anticipation builds in Alabama for "Go Set a Watchman"

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Anticipation is building for the release of Alabama native Harper Lee's new novel "Go Set a Watchman", and with two million hard cover books being printed of a book that fewer than 100 people have read, its already bound to be a hit.

It was a forgotten manuscript.

"She said I found another manuscript," explained Andrew Nurnberg, Publisher of Lee's second novel. He held "Go Set a Watchman", the soon-to-be bestseller, without even realizing it.

"They weren't characters she dropped from 'Mockingbird'," Nurnberg explained. "There was a whole other manuscript, same size same pages right underneath."

More than 50 years in the making, Lee's latest novel is an unprecedented event in the publishing world.

"This is the largest printing of any novel in American history," Lee Sentell explained, and with pre-sales for the book projected to beat the likes of Harry Potter, like the events surrounding the movie Selma, Alabama is once again on the map.

"Any time that a city or state has a big movie or big book that's ever filmed there or written about the location, there is a long shelf life in the tourism industry," Sentell, Director of the Alabama Tourism Department, admits.

Sentell expects south Alabama's Monroeville, the real life setting of Maycomb in Lee's novels, to see a big boost in business.

"That is like free advertising for the tourism industry," Sentell quipped. "People want to come, they want to make a pilgrimage literally to see where something has happened, when she walks on the street, and turns onto South Alabama Street, that's the exact street her house was on."

With copies under lock and key until midnight releases Monday, the world is anxiously awaiting "Go Set a Watchman".

"You open the first page and you know immediately, well this is Harper Lee," Nurnberg states.

Books a Million will be opening from midnight to 1 a.m. on July 14 for the release of Harper Lee's new novel. Bookstores in Monroeville will also be opening up at midnight for the special release. The town is also holding a marathon reading.

"Go Set a Watchman" is already the No. 1 Bestseller on Amazon.

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