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The Phoenix flies off shelves

Indian publishing has “never seen anything like this”. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has been flying off the shelves fast and frenetic, pushing past all predictions. And stocks in Calcutta are perilously close to exhaustion point.

It’s a “dream come true” for Penguin, India distributors of Bloomsbury (publishers of Potter). Over 75 per cent of the first batch of 60,000 copies have been sold. “Everyone knew it was going to be big, but no one knew how big,” laughs Thomas Abraham, general manager marketing, Penguin India.

Penguin had, before D-Day June 21, predicted the year-end figure would touch 100,000 copies, breaking all its previous records. Now, that magic mark is expected to be left behind by July-end. “We have already received re-orders from our distributors for another 40,000 copies. By the end of Saturday, in fact, we had orders for 35,000 more copies,” adds the Delhi-based Abraham.

Though the city-wise breakdown is not in as yet, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai saw the biggest rush on Day One, with people lining up at bookstores from 7 am. In Calcutta, half the 6,000 copies that came in the first delivery last Friday have been sold, according to the Penguin office here. Another 5,000 re-orders have been registered, to reach stores “latest by early next week”.

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