BEIJING, Oct. 15 -- Chinese Harry Potter fans will
finally have the chance to read the sixth title of the boy wizard series,
created by English writer J.K. Rowling, in Chinese from Saturday.
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" in simplified characters is premiering across China. According to the People's Literature Publishing House, the publisher, all the 800,000 copies of the
first printing were distributed to hundreds of Xinhua Bookstore branches in the country's
Translation, proofreading, editing and other procedures needed to speed the book's release have taken three months to accomplish.
"It would have been ideal timing
if it had come out two weeks earlier, for the National Day holiday, when most
people had more time to read books, but there was not a single day that could
have been compressed," said Wang Ruiqin, the book's editor.
Wang said "not a single word was deleted" from the
translation of the English text.
The Chinese edition is priced at 58 yuan (US$7.25),
which, though much cheaper than the US and British editions, is still twice the
price of most Chinese titles. Even so, the publishing house was confident the
book would sell well.
"Many other children's book publishers have postponed one month or longer the release of their new titles to lessen Harry Potter's influence on their sales," said Li Chunkai, head of the publisher's distribution department.
The Chinese editions of the five previous Harry Potter titles have sold more than 7.14 million copies so far on the mainland.
To guarantee that this book will at least score as
high as the previous ones, the publishing house has tried many defences against
pirates, by using a special kind of green paper with the use of nuclear
technology. Both national and local authorities of intellectual property
protection have vowed to provide any help they can.
(Source: China Daily/Photo: Xinhua)