Rowling launched sales of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" on Thursday with a tea party for 200 school children at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, where she lives.
The author is donating royalties from the book to a charity, which hopes it will raise millions to help vulnerable children.
The book was selling extremely well at two downtown San Diego stores. A clerk at a B. Dalton in Horton Plaza in San Diego said the book was selling well. A short distance away at Borders on G Street, a clerk named Ian said that there had been 63 presales for the book and at least another half-dozen copies had been bought by customers walking in off the street.
Not everybody is a fan, though. Zoe, a 9-year-old from San Diego, said she had not interest in the book.
Nevertheless, recession-hit booksellers hope the book -- a collection of five fables mentioned in Rowling's saga about boy wizard Harry Potter -- will give them a festive boost for holidays.