Borders has joined the battle for sales of Delia Smith’s hotly anticipated new recipe book by slashing the price when it goes on sale today.

Borders will offer Delia’s How to Cheat at Cooking recipe book at half the£20 RRP, then discount it heavily after that.

Borders senior buyer for non-fiction books Richard Humphreys said: “We are going to be aggressive with pricing.”

The recipe book will catapult Delia Smith back into the limelight, with supermarkets and book chains all fighting for sales.

Humphreys added: “It’s going to be a really big seller. Delia’s a brand on her own and she hasn’t had a book out for a while. She was the first modern celebrity chef and she’s still got a lot of loyal fans.”

A Waterstone’s spokesman said: “Pre-orders have overtaken those received for Jamie at Home and were the highest in any category since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

Waterstone’s expects the book, which it will sell for£10, to sell half a million copies by the end of the year, the spokesman added.

Delia Smith will appear for book signings in Waterstone’s Nottingham, Birmingham and Bluewater stores. The book is number six in Amazon’s cookbook chart, based on pre-orders alone.

* Borders UK has appointed Neil Fitton as head of marketing and promoted James Sneddon to head of store operations with immediate effect. Fitton joins from Displayplan UK, a retail design and consultancy company. He previously worked for Woolworths and Asda.