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Harry Potter book breaks Aust sales record

AAP logoAAP 5/08/2016

Australian booksellers are eating their words after the latest Harry Potter instalment became the country's fastest-selling book of the decade.

More than 170,000 muggles rushed to grab a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two in the first three days of its release, according to publishing house Hachette Australia.

The tale - a new release by author J.K.Rowling, director John Tiffany and playwright Jack Thorne - was published at 9.01am on July 31 after its stage debut on London's West End.

It has become the fastest-selling script book in Australian history and the fastest-selling book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007.

The unprecedented response to the play script has left retailers scrambling to order thousands more copies to satisfy Hogwarts-hungry readers.

Booktopia's Head of Marketing John Purcell said the online-only business sold out of the title despite placing four bulk orders, totalling more than 8000 copies.

"Reviews are great, the book is still in the press, everyone is clamouring for a copy," he said.

"We are selling hundreds a day. Harry is back!"

Readings' managing director Mark Rubbo said booksellers had been sceptical about reader response to a play script, but "shouldn't have been" based on the overwhelming response.

The special rehearsal edition book, with a RRP of $45, will be replaced by a definitive script in early 2017 including final stage directions and annotations gathered from the London stage show.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has sold 450 million copies of her seven-book series worldwide, with more than 680,000 print copies of the new release flying off UK shelves in three days.

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