Potter casts one last spell on Bloomsbury


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The Independent Online

As fans waved goodbye to HarryPotter with the release of the final film in the series, the teen wizard once again cast a spell over publisher Bloomsbury, whose sales "surged" in response.

The publisher said yesterday that following the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II last month, "we are pleased to report a surge in sales of the seven Harry Potter books".

According to the market research group Nielsen BookScan, sales of the Potter series, which Bloomsbury first bought in 1996, had already hit £225m in the UK on the eve of the film's release.

Bloomsbury's overall sales also saw a "significant" improvement in July and early August following "soft conditions in previous months". The rise was driven by ebook downloads as customers prepared for their summer holidays – in 2010, ebook sales were some 18 times higher than those in the year before – as well as strong sales at high-street retailers.

Bloomsbury also pointed to the success of Man Booker Prize winner The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson, which has sold just over 717,000 copies around the world.

Other titles to perform well include Mao's Great Famine, by Frank Dikotter, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, and Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English, which made the Man longlist.

The company has also sealed a deal with the Practical Law Company which will boost its academic and professional business. Bloomsbury hailed the move as bringing "more consistent and stable earnings".

The latest tie-up follows the announcement last month of Bloomsbury's acquisition of Continuum, an academic publisher specialising in theology and philosophy.