updated 6/28/2007 8:27:49 AM ET 2007-06-28T12:27:49

Bloomsbury PLC, the British publisher of the Harry Potter books, said Thursday that advance orders for the latest and final volume of the series are 17 percent ahead of the pre-orders for the previous book.

The seventh book in the series about the boy magician, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” will be published on July 21. Much of Bloomsbury’s profit in recent years has been derived from the series, which has been translated into a number of different languages, including Chinese.

Bloomsbury did not give any specific figures for the advance orders.

The Harry Potter books have been translated into 65 languages and sold more than 325 million copies since the first volume, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” was published in 1997.

But Bloomsbury is under pressure to find new sources of revenue as the Harry Potter series draws to a close. The company has so far been able to capitalize on the success of the Harry Potter movies, computer games and other merchandise even in years without a new release by issuing paperback editions or new language imprints.

The publisher intends to extend that strategy after the final release by printing a paperback edition 12 months later. It also plans to launch a box-set edition of all the volumes and continue to launch editions to coincide with the film releases, the fifth of which — “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” — is also scheduled for July.

The Harry Potter books are published in the United States by Scholastic Corp.

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