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'Harry Potter' author J.K. Rowling set to release her first adult novel

02/23/2012 by Olivia Allin

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling signed a new book deal to write her first novel for an adult audience, Little, Brown publishing announced on Thursday.

The title, release date and details about the publication have not been revealed.

"Although I've enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world," Rowling, 46, said in a statement released by Little, Brown.

"The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher," Rowling continued. "I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life."

Rowling's agent Neil Blair did not reveal financial details regarding the deal, but told the Associated Press that his client would continue to work with Bloomsbury in Britain on the "Harry Potter" series.

"As her new book is for a different audience, and marks a new literary direction for her, it made sense to separate the two and for her new book to be launched by a different publisher," Blair said.

Bloomsbury is releasing new editions of the seven novels, which have been translated into 74 languages. Some 450 million copies are already in print.

The movie franchise based on the books have earned more than $7 billion worldwide and the final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," was released in July 2011.

Rowling, the world's richest author with an estimated net worth of at least $1 billion, has often talked about her past as a struggling, single mother and how she wrote her first "Harry Potter" stories in coffee shops in her native United Kingdom in a bid to save on heating bills.

Her new novel will be available in both print and electronic formats. Rowling revealed last year that the "Harry Potter" e-books would be available on the "Pottermore" website. Their e-book release is set for later this year.

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