As far as booksellers are concerned, the honeymoon with Harry Potter is over. With the hype over, bookstores say it has not been such a profitable deal after all.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is selling for as low as Rs 600 (against the MRP of Rs 975) and those who initially offered big discounts, hoping huge sales would make up for lower margins, are now withdrawing the discounts completely or partially. Many booksellers whom HT on Saturday spoke to across the country say they have sold as little as one-third of their stocks and sales went down drastically after day one.
Shalini Rose, manager, the Bookworm in Delhi, said, “We ordered 350 copies, hoping to sell about 300 on the first day. We sold 150. Now we are left with most of the stock stored in boxes. We are withdrawing the discount.”
Pankaj Singh, CEO, the Browser online store and library, Chandigarh, said the book sold “with a big bang on Saturday, which is now over”. Seagull Bookstore in Kolkata has dropped prices from Rs 800 to Rs 750 and thrown in a free quiz book with the deal.
Penguin India Books, which is distributing the book in India, says 2.6 lakh copies were distributed to sellers all over the country. After that the demand has decreased. Hemali Sodhi, marketing head for the company, said: “The figure of 2.6 lakh copies will itself sustain sales for a while, so we don’t expect re-orders soon.”
But the Potter reader is not complaining. Vrinda Jaju, a college student in Delhi, is happy she paid Rs 730 for her copy. But her cousin in Kolkata got hers for Rs 550.