But Rowling does begin with one advantage: The Potter books had an enormous following among readers of all ages and she is widely credited with revealing to publishers that children's books were no longer just for the young. Meyer's vampire novels and Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" trilogy also have caught on with both parents and kids. Meyer herself wrote an adult book, "The Host," a best-seller in 2008.
"It would just be cool if my existing fans liked it," Meyer told The Associated Press in 2008. "And I hope to get some new readers who would never go into the YA (Young Adult) shelves."
Beth Puffer, director of the Manhattan-based children's bookseller Bank Street Bookstore, said she'd have to see the novel before deciding where or whether to stock it.
"I assume if it's written for adults, it's not appropriate for children," said Puffer, who added that she might stock the book in a section for ages 14 and up. "There are a lot of former children and young adults who grew up with Harry Potter and they would likely be an audience for her new book. You also have all the adults who loved the Potter books."
One of Rowling's most passionate fans, Melissa Anelli, said she was beyond herself "with excitement." Anelli, 32, runs a leading Potter/Rowling fan site, http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org .
"J.K. Rowling is simply a great writer, and no matter what she applies her talents to, we will anticipate and enjoy it," Anelli wrote in an email. "I'm also so intrigued by this process: What will happen as the world's greatest children's/YA author navigates the new publishing landscape and publishes for a new audience?"
Rowling's novel will be available in both print and electronic formats. The author held out for years on allowing the Potter books to come out digitally, but announced in 2011 that Potter e-books would be sold through her own "Pottermore" website. The books were supposed to become available last fall, but have been delayed until sometime this year.
Associated Press writer Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.
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