By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated October 15, 2010 at 03:07 PM EDT

Image Credit: Christie GoodwinNearly everyone agrees that Taylor Swift‘s third album, Speak Now, is destined to be a hit. The only question is how big. Some people are openly raising the possibility that Speak Now could sell as many as one million copies in its first week — a feat no one has accomplished since Lil Wayne in 2008. Could she really pull this off? The Music Mix found out what a few retail experts have to say.

“I would expect it to be probably the best-selling record of the year for any artist,” says Rob Baker, head of the music department at Nashville’s Great Escape, where Swift herself has been known to shop. Great Escape mostly sells vinyl LPs and used CDs, but Speak Now is one of the few new CDs they’ll be stocking. “If the Beatles put out a new record, we’d be carrying that one too,” Baker jokes. He wouldn’t be surprised to see this one hit the million mark: “Anything’s plausible. I’d say there’s a high probability.”

Across town at Nashville’s Ernest Tubb Record Shop, store manager Stephen Bowen says customers have been asking about Speak Now “quite regularly,” especially the younger female ones. “We’re always excited about a new Taylor Swift,” says Bowen. “Each album, she gets bigger and bigger.” That said, Bowen isn’t sure the current commercial climate will allow for a million-plus debut: “I would say it will be in the hundreds of thousands, but whether it breaks a million — that would be great to hear.” His conservative first-week estimate is somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000 copies sold.

Carl Mello, director of purchasing for New England’s Newbury Comics chain, agrees that instant-platinum status for Speak Now is unlikely. “If the first single [‘Mine’] was a ubiquitous classic, then that could have happened,” Mello says. “The first single has reacted okay, but it doesn’t lead me to believe that [the album] will sell a million.” Instead, he’d bet on a first-week total in the mid-600,000s range, a modest step up from Fearless‘ 592,000 debut two years ago. But regardless of how well Speak Now does in its first week, Mello is confident it will remain on the charts for a long time. “The good thing looking at [Swift’s] last couple of releases is that the things are usually deep with singles,” he says. “They just live on for a year and a half, selling like crazy. She’s as big of a mainstream music star as we have these days, really.”

How many copies do you think Speak Now will sell in the week after arriving on shelves Oct. 25? Could Swift move a million copies in a week? Speak now in the comments, below.

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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