by Ryan Harrison
FANS of Harry Potter here in Majorca were disappointed yesterday after bookshops on the island failed to receive orders of the latest book, which is expected to sell 10 million copies worldwide in its first 24 hours. British booksellers on the island were outraged as customers had to be turned away and many tourists decided to buy their copy when they returned to the UK. Luckily for fans of the latest J K Rowling offering, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, El Corte Ingles superstore in the centre of Palma is stocking the book in English. Morag Ek, from British shop The Book Worm, said: “My order was meant to be here in time for today's opening, but it hasn't arrived. As a result I've lost customers. “The phone hasn't stopped ringing and just this morning I've lost 30 customers.” “You don't expect this with something as big as Harry Potter,” she added. Booksellers and suppliers of the book are told to sign an embargo agreement by publisher Bloomsbury, declaring they will not sell or display the books before the official release date. Trish Boosey, from Universal Bookshop in Portal Nous, also had problems with her delivery of Harry Potter books.
She said: “My order was placed months ago and I got a phone call on Friday to say they won't make it here. “The publishers are to blame. They don't let the suppliers and shippers have the books until a couple of days before the books go on sale. That's just not enough time for the shipments to reach the shops.” There were reports last night that shipments bound for Majorca and the rest of Europe were delayed due to a fire at Birmingham International Airport and a security alert at a London airport. The suppliers to Majorca said yesterday that delayed books should arrive at shops by Monday.
It is thought that bookshops in Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Gibraltar have also been affected.
Bloomsbury releases the Harry Potter books to suppliers just days before shops are legally allowed to sell them. Suppliers in the UK can get the shipments to UK shops in time, but delays can occur when shipping overseas. Trish Boosey, who has been a bookseller in Majorca for three years, said: “We have to sign Bloomsbury release papers so we don't sell the book before it comes out. But what's the point in signing if they don't release the books to the wholesalers in time? “For the next Potter book they must make the book available earlier.” The first five Harry Potter books have sold more than 265 million copies in 200 countries and have been translated into 62 languages.
Fans flocked to launch parties yesterday held in London, Sydney, Delhi and New York and author J K Rowling was at Edinburgh Castle and read to 70 children who won the chance to be at the launch and interview her.

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