Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Potter Mania in India………….

If one had walked into any of the book stores across the country on Saturday last he would have got confused whether he was in a book shop or a pet store with all the owls floating around ... as I was when I visited crossword and landmark in Vadodara. It was the launch of the seventh and the last of the Harry Potter series "Deadly Hallows" which had all the book chains in the country dressed-up for the occasion. In the past one month I have seen many school children walking into the book shops and booking their advance copies. The interest with which the children came and booked their orders made one realize the strength of the brand. Though the response for the book in the country has been quite good, but I personally feel that the brand is in no way as big as it is in US and UK. My casual inquiry with the sales person at the counter in crossword revealed that they had an advance booking of around 400 and of which 300 had been picked by mid-afternoon. The overall country level figures also show the same, of more than 2 million copies pre-ordered worldwide only 2, 40,000 were from India. In US sales of the seventh and final Harry Potter volume hit an estimated 8.3 million in the first 24 hours, making it the fastest selling book in the history of books. One of the major reasons for the below par response for the book from India would be the cost, even at the discounted price of 750/- it is still costly for many of the school going children, despite all the hype these people will wait for the pirated copies to come on the streets and then read it. Even the company estimates that it would be losing close to 50 percent of its sales to piracy.



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