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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 June, 2003, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Latest Potter book up for auction
JK Rowling
Rowling is not expected to sign many of the books
A copy of the forthcoming Harry Potter book signed by author JK Rowling has been put up for sale on the auction website eBay to raise money for charity.

The copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is being sold to raise money for the deaf and blind charity Sense.

The auction ends on 20 June - the day before the book comes out in shops - but it will not be made available to its buyer until the publication date.

It appeared on eBay on Tuesday and within two hours had received bids for more than 104. Its reserve price - meaning the seller can refuse to sell to lower bids - is yet to be reached.

Paul Amadi, director of fundraising at Sense, said: "With no official book signings planned in the near future by JK Rowling, Harry Potter enthusiasts and book collectors will be eager to get their hands on possibly one of the few signed copies available.

eBay listing
Another copy of the book is for sale on eBay

"We are hoping to raise as much money as possible from the sale to go towards providing better services for the deaf/blind people Sense works with."

The book will be on the site for the next 10 days.

But BBC News Online discovered another signed copy of the book was already up for sale on the site.

The copy is being offered by a person in Kent who won a competition to write a poem about the Harry Potter stories.

It was listed on the site on 4 June and so far has bids up to 265, with auction ending on 14 June.

The poem winner is receiving their copy of the book on 21 June and they have said on the site they will then post it on to the highest bidder.

The auction site eBay, which has more than 69 million registered users and made more than $250m profits late year, is one of the biggest internet successes in dot.com history.


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