Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Huge Success Story

Harry Potter is about to hit the bookstores and quickly jump into readers’ hands at 12:01 Saturday, July 21st. This 7th and last book in J.K. Rowling’s series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has already accumulated pre-orders of 2 million books, well above the previous record of the 6th Potter book.

The book has been Number One on Amazon for many days over the last six months or more. A few times it may have been bumped from first place for a short-lived book. According to the July 9 issue of Publishers Weekly, the book has had the highest number of Amazon pre-orders in history, one million books! The 12 million first printing is expected to fly off shelves, and although I haven’t heard, I would guess it may be into a second printing or will be before long.

The Harry Potter Series of the six prior books have sold 27.7 million books in the U.S. alone, and 22.5 copies in the UK. In addition it has been translated into more than 63 languages, with German and Japanese editions doing especially well, resulting in worldwide copies of the series so far, reaching 325 million copies. You can imagine how that figure will jump as the new publication is translated in coming months.

As we know, there are always people out there who will try and ruin things for others. Her UK publisher Bloomsbury is taking immediate legal action as a result of leaks and breaking of the on-sale legal agreements, with information of the book popping up on the Internet. Scholastic, her U.S. publisher, issued a statement asking fans to "please not spoil the book for the rest of we Harry Potter fans who are eagerly awaiting the final installment of the Harry Potter series and to help ‘preserve the fun and excitement for fans everywhere’."

Rowling has posted this message on her website as of July 18:

"We are almost there! As launch night looms, let’s all, please ignore the misinformation popping up on the web and in the press on the plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I’d like to ask everyone who calls themselves a Potter fan to help preserve the secrecy of the plot for all those who are looking forward to reading the book at the same time on publication day. In a very short time you will know EVERYTHING!"

I’ve been happy for J.K. Rowling’s success as a writer, and it has turned out to be quite an incredible success. She is richer than the Queen of England and the # 2 richest in the entertainer category, just behind Oprah. J.K. Rowling is the highest earning novelist in literary history and it is well deserved.

From the first I heard of her Harry Potter book, I have been intrigued how the story came to her during a four hour train ride. Not just the idea for a book, but the plot for a series of seven books! And the "dream" came to her when she was down-and-out as a struggling, single mother. A beautiful success story!

It’s so ironic and, I suppose, satisfying to me that the books have been such a world-wide success after the outcry from some religious groups and others who wanted the books banned. It is a good example how those outcries were based on fear, and control, instead of looking at Harry Potter and gang as a magical and fictional fantasy story of good, enjoyable (and harmless) entertainment enjoyed by children and adults, alike.

Google presently lists 4,780,000 references to the title Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. That shows how powerful words are.

As Lord Byron said years ago: "Words are things; and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions think."

~ Linda

No comments: