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Publisher Cashes in on "Rings"
2004-3-15 9:39:44    
Yilin Press is reprinting 10,000 sets of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic trilogy "The Lord of the Rings" in hopes of cashing in as the third film episode premieres in China.

Zhu Zude, vice president of Yilin Press, said bookstores around the country are stocking up as the cinematic interpretation is bound to lure millions of readers.

According to the Scholar Bookstore in Shanghai, "The Lord of the Rings" series was not selling well before the movie won 11 Oscar awards.

After winning acclaim, however, it sold more than 80 copies per week.

Hu Wentao, who recently bought the print version of the final story of the trilogy - "The Return of the King" - said he downloaded the movie online and watched it.

Yilin bought rights to the book in 1998 before they were made into a blockbuster motion picture trilogy that has fired the imagination of a new generation.

Zhu said he never dreamed the story would turn into a bestseller. He thought "The Lord of the Rings" might appeal to a small group of readers and sales would be limited.

"We translated Tolkien's work because it has been hailed throughout the world as one of the greatest adventure stories ever written," said Zhu.

Millions of readers love Tolkien's exciting tale, which takes place in a fantastic land called Middle Earth. Few Chinese readers heard of Tolkien before the movie.

More than 1.6 million Tolkien books were sold since 2001, including a four-volume paperback set containing "The Hobbit" and a three-volume set of "The Lord of the Rings" (The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; and The Return of the King).

The number of sold books reached an all-time high - 1 million copies - in mid-2002 when the movie "The Fellowship of the Ring" was released on the Chinese mainland.

(Shanghai Daily)
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