Hogwarts and other schools are out for summer, but this does not bode well for local sales of the last Harry Potter book, say Hong Kong distributors of the magical tome. The much-anticipated J.K. Rowling book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last in the best-selling series, was to go on sale at 7.01am today in Hong Kong shops in a simultaneous worldwide release. But despite having anticipated initial high sales, distributors say they may not be able to sell as many books as in previous releases because they are missing out on sales to schools, which broke up earlier this month. Vivienne Wong, managing director of Publishers Associates, which has ordered thousands of copies, said: 'It's bad timing. A lot of students have gone away for the summer. All the previous books were released earlier than this and we sold a lot to the schools. Lots of the western expatriate schoolchildren have already left.' Matt Steele of Dymocks, which is planning appearances by characters from the book at 10 stores across the city today, agreed the timing of the release was not ideal for Hong Kong. 'A lot of families will be away on holiday and will buy the book in their home countries or while they're out of Hong Kong,' he said. 'That's why we're not expecting a very big increase in sales over the last book.' Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the previous book in the series, sold more than 100,000 copies in Hong Kong, Mr Steele said. The popularity of Harry Potter in the city is in little doubt, judging by the first weekend takings of the film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which showed on 95 screens and took HK$2.6 million - the most a Harry Potter film has made on an opening weekend in Hong Kong. Reports of leaked books and spoilers on the internet would be unlikely to affect sales, Mr Steele said. A spokeswoman for Bloomsbury in London, the British publishers of the Harry Potter books, said it would not disclose the number made available to the Hong Kong market before the official launch.