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W H Smith offers 99p Beedle
04.12.08 | Victoria Gallagher
W H Smith is offering J K Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard for 99p for customers who spend £15 or more on books stationery, or gifts. The retailer trailed the offer, which lasts until Monday, with television adverts shown last night (Wednesday, 3rd December).
It is currently the lowest price offer on the book, expected to be one the late Christmas bestsellers despite possible supermarket supply problems caused by the administration of EUK last week. Most of the high street chains, supermarkets and internet booksellers are selling the book at half-price, or £3.50.
Independent booksellers are also looking forward to some festive cheer with the release today (4th December) of The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Bloomsbury) by J K Rowling. Across the country Christmas evening events are to be held to celebrate the release of the new Rowling title, with the hope of increasing footfall in the gloomy winter months.
Vivian Archer of Newham Books, London, said: "I hope that it’s going to pay off having a discount evening slightly later in the year, especially after everyone has just got paid.” Other booksellers said that the book would be placed in window displays to entice shoppers inside.
Along with holding evening events many indies will also be offering discounts, with a pound or two off the cover price. "I hope it will be a good book for Christmas, we've got pretty large supplies," said Charles Tongue who owns both Stroud Bookshop and The Stroud Children’s Bookshop. Tongue said that his adult’s bookshop had not been enjoying any seasonal swell and that sales had been down for the past three months. However, he said, the children’s market appeared to be robust.
Despite Rowling’s new title being a well known and popular Christmas choice, booksellers said that many other titles were also selling well. Keith Smith of Warwick Books said that a recent comment about indies not having any good books for Christmas was "a load of old cobblers". He added: "There’s plenty of good titles out there, we sell lots of different books, not just The Tales of the Beedle the Bard."
The eagerly awaited Rowling title, which consists of five fairy-tales, was previously released with just seven copies for sale. The mass market edition was released with an r.r.p. of £6.99, with the chains and supermarkets selling the book at half price.