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JK Rowling Finishes First Post-'Harry Potter' Book

JK Rowling has completed her first book not to feature the teenaged wizard Harry Potter - but don't look for it on the best-seller chart.

The British author says only seven copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard are being printed. One will be auctioned in December to raise money for a children's charity, while the others have been given away as gifts.

Rowling herself did the drawings for the collection of five magical fairy stories, along with writing the text by hand. In a statement, Rowling said "The Tales of Beedle the Bard is really a distillation of the themes found in the Harry Potter books, and writing it has been the most wonderful way to say goodbye to a world I have loved and lived in for 17 years."

Bound in brown morocco leather and mounted with silver and semiprecious stones, the book will be auctioned at Sotheby's on December 13. Starting price will be $62,000. Proceeds will go to The Children's Voice, a European children's charity.

Rowling's seven Harry Potter books have been translated into 64 languages, selling nearly 400 million copies. Tales of Beedle the Bard played a role in this year's final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As a gift left by headmaster Albus Dumbledore to Harry's friend Hermione, it provides clues which help destroy the evil Lord Voldemort.

In a BBC radio interview broadcast on November 1, Rowling said she was working on "a half-finished book for children that I think will be the next thing I publish."

On October 31, Rowling and the makers of the Harry Potter movies filed a lawsuit against RDR Books, a small U.S. publisher planning to bring out a companion volume based on the Harry Potter Lexicon fan Web site.

Rowling has said she plans to write her own encyclopedia of the wizarding world, and says the book would infringe on her intellectual property rights.