"Twilight" publisher sees film boosting book sales

Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:10pm EST
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By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Described in publishing circles as America's answer to Harry Potter, the teen-age vampires of "Twilight" may reach a wider audience when the movie of the book comes out on Friday with the publisher hoping for a surge in book sales.

Publishing industry veterans say the huge popularity of author Stephenie Meyers' "Twilight" series is reminiscent of the early success of J.K. Rowling, whose "Harry Potter" books about teen-age wizards are the holy grail of publishing.

Both have sold in unusually high numbers, attracted a huge audience of young fans with cult-like fascination for the books and have plots revolving around magical elements.

With a modest $36 million budget the "Twilight" film could easily recoup its money in the first weekend due to the book's huge popularity among teen-agers, especially girls.

The built-in fan base has helped create huge buzz for the movie and publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has brought out two tie-in editions of "Twilight."

"I think it will definitely bring a bigger audience," said Elizabeth Eulberg, publicist for the "Twilight" books. "We just hope the people who haven't read the books who see the movie will read them."

Eulberg said sales had spiked in recent weeks and worldwide sales of the four books in the series now top 25 million, in 37 languages including Vietnamese, Chinese, Croatian and Latvian.

The four books -- "Twilight," "New Moon," "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn" -- have held the top four spots on USA Today's bestseller list, which unlike some lists ranks young adult books alongside adult fiction, for the past two weeks.   Continued...

<p>Cast members Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart attend the premiere of the movie "Twilight" at the Mann Village and Bruin theatres in Westwood, California November 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>