No Potter could see dip in children's book business in 08

Foot traffic bought in by seventh title won't be repeated says US forecast.
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The children's and young adult book market in the US is likely to fall in 2008, with only slight growth for 2009, says a new Simba Information report, Children's Publishing Market Forecast 2008.

There will be several factors for the fall of more than one per cent, although a key one will be the lack of a new Harry Potter title. The seventh book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - was responsible for bringing in tremendous amounts of footfall to retailers.

"Publishers have trusted Harry Potter to bring readers to stores for so long, there's just going to be a void next summer that'll be hard to fill," said Michael Norris, the senior analyst of Simba Information's Trade Books Group.

A drop in title output is also expected, with Norris commenting: "Publishers are increasingly putting more marketing dollars behind fewer books to get titles noticed."

Fantasy books continue to lead the business, the report noted.

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