"Potter" conjures 1.8 million copies in China
Chinese-language publishers have printed more than 1. 8 million copies of the final book about boy wizard Harry Potter and are considering...
The Associated Press
HONG KONG — Chinese-language publishers have printed more than 1.8 million copies of the final book about boy wizard Harry Potter and are considering issuing more, executives said Wednesday.
In mainland China, where unauthorized translations of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" surfaced on Web sites ahead of its official release last month, publishers also said they were taking strict measures to curb piracy.
Mainland China's The People's Literature Publishing House said it issued 1.1 million copies of the book, the seventh in the Harry Potter series, but declined to provide sales figures.
Taiwan's Crown Culture Corp. has shipped 700,000 copies to bookstores in Taiwan and Hong Kong, a figure that already exceeds the company's total print run of 680,000 for the sixth and penultimate Harry Potter book, marketing executive Icy Lee said.
Lee also refused to offer sales figures, although both publishing companies said further printings were possible.
In China, which has long been the world's leading source of illegally copied goods, including designer clothes, movies and music, The People's Literature Publishing House marketing executive Sun Shunlin said its new Potter books are printed with anti-piracy watermarks on the first page.
China's General Administration of Press and Publication has also ordered officials to get tough on book pirates, he said.
"The piracy situation for the seventh Harry Potter book isn't severe. I can't say there aren't any pirated copies out there at all, but very few copies are found on the streets," Sun said.
The General Administration of Press and Publication didn't immediately respond to faxed questions about piracy of the book.
Sun said every new Harry Potter edition has sold about 1.6 million copies in mainland China, with the fifth book selling slightly fewer copies, and that he expects the final book to post similar sales results.
In Taiwan and Hong Kong, Crown Culture Corp.'s print runs have ranged from 680,000 copies for the sixth book to nearly 1.1 million for the first.
The latest book about the magical world of Harry Potter and his friends sells for a pricey $9 in China, where the average worker makes as little as $67 a month, Sun said. The first six books were priced at or cheaper than $8.
In Taiwan and Hong Kong, the Chinese version of the final Potter tome costs $19. The list price for the English-language book is $35 on Amazon.com.
The Chinese translation of "The Deathly Hallows" hit stores Oct. 20 in Hong Kong and Taiwan and Oct. 28 in China.
The English book was released in July. The seven books have sold nearly 400 million copies and have been translated into 64 languages.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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