I Participated In Publishing History
Saturday morning I had an early flight to Orange County, California. In the airport crowd I spotted a few readers carrying their orange Harry Potter books. It indicated they had been in the crowd at the bookstores who were able to purchase the book after the stroke of midnight or maybe they bought it in the airport bookstore. I spoke for several hours at the Southern California Writers Association luncheon about Secrets Editors DO Want You To Know. They gathered a terrific crowd for this event and I appreciate the opportunity.
After the event, I spent a bit of time with Bill Kritlow who lives in Fountain Valley. Back in the 1980s, Bill and I were in a local writer's critique group. In this group, four writers once a month for breakfast and worked over each other's material. Bill wanted to go to Barnes & Noble and pick up a couple of copies of the Harry Potter book. It was perfect because I was also looking for an excuse to get to the bookstore. I took the opportunity to purchase the final Harry Potter book. I've read the other six and look forward to this final installment in the series.
In terms of book design, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is wrapped in simplicity. Other than the bar code, there is nothing on the back cover. The front inside flap gives the price, the Jacket artist and the jacket designer along with the words: WE NOW PRESENT THE SEVENTH AND FINAL INSTALLMENT IN THE EPIC TALE OF HARRY POTTER. That’s it.
The back flap gives the contact information for the publisher and nothing else. See why I called it simple? There is no enticing hook or summary of the book or any information about the author. There are no glowing endorsements or reviews or anything to attract additional readers. Scholastic probably decided it wasn't needed and would be overkill.
In the first 24 hours, an estimated 8.3 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were sold. It's a new record in publishing history and I was a participant.