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Science, Fiction, and points in between
March 1999, page 2

Advantage Internet

A Denver Post article (March 28th) describes how fans of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Scholastic) are using the Internet to buy the sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (UK: Bloomsbury Children's Books), which is so far published only in Britain and is not legally available in US bookstores. Scholastic, which owns US publishing rights to Rowling's books, issued cease-and-desist orders to a few US bookstores that acquired copies of the UK edition for eager readers. Its version of Rowling's sequel will be published in September. A Denver public librarian is quoted about the online sales:

That could really undercut Scholastic's American sales. They don't make a cent from the sale of a British book. If I were Scholastic, I'd want to get my book out before September. I'd want my publication to be the one that people buy.
And a bookseller:
I heard Scholastic had to 'Americanize' it. That doesn't take a year.
Among the Americanizations imposed by Scholastic on the first book: changing its title from the original Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

The new book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is available from as a hardcover or paperback. The two editions are currently #3 and #2 respectively on's bestseller list, and the book's hardcover webpage boasts 55 customer reviews with an average rating of 5 (out of 5). The third book in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, won't be released until July, but advance orders have put it in 5th place on's bestseller list.

(posted Tue 30 Mar 1999)

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