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Booksellers bet on Rowling's post-Potter novel

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 02:12

Sept.26 - Harry Potter author J.K Rowling has released her first novel for adults, ''The Casual Vacancy'', concerning life and class prejudice in a small English town. After the seven-book Potter series sold 450 million copies worldwide, booksellers and publishers are hoping her latest work sells well too. Joanna Partridge reports

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Could this one novel give booksellers and publishers a boost? British bookshops opened early - as "The Casual Vacancy" went on sale - the first book for adults by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Rowling's name alone will attract readers - and the book's virtually guaranteed to top best-seller lists in Britain, the U.S and around the world. SOUNDBITE: Grace Proctor, J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter fan, saying (English): "I couldn't wait to have it in my hands and then I'll read it as soon as possible, maybe in my lunch break, maybe now, a bit before work, and try and read it as quick as possible, and then read it again like all the Harry Potter's." The record-breaking seven book and eight movie franchise about the boy wizard made Rowling what Forbes magazine called the world's "first billionaire author". Five years on her first foray into adult literature has attracted the sort of coverage that most writers can only dream of. Rowling did very limited publicity ahead of the launch of her story about life and class prejudice in a small English town. But that's not expected to dent sales says bookstore manager, Gary Powell. SOUNDBITE: Gary Powell, Manager of Foyles book shop, saying (English): "A lot of the market that read the Harry Potter books were adults anyway, so I think they're going to identify with her style of writing. It's going to be one of our key titles for Christmas, absolutely, and it's going to sell really well from now through until next year as well." The Harry Potter books changed the face of publishing - they sold 450 million worldwide. In the UK the series tops the list of recent best-sellers according to Nielsen Bookscan with over 31 million copies sold. That's followed by 10 million copies so far of the Fifity Shades trilogy by EL James. And then 5 and a quarter million copies of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code". "The Casual Vacancy" reportedly saw pre-sale orders of 2.6 million. In the age of eReaders - it seems many book fans still want to get their hands on a hardback on publication day. Rowling herself has expressed a desire to avoid the "insanity" which surrounded Harry Potter publications, but booksellers hope this hype will also translate into sales. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Booksellers bet on Rowling's post-Potter novel

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 02:12