Harry Potter and the BIG FAT SECRET, part 3

Harry Potter, with his arm outstretched, reaching for something (we’ll find out soon enough), is about five feet tall. There’s a tear off calendar, counting down the days until Saturday, in his armpit. He’s hanging out next to a much larger Cat in the Hat.

But the Dr. Suess favorite only has 1 window cling in the department. Harry has 5. Harry also has book marks, a smaller desk sized cut out and calendar, some posters and a bunch of flyers for an upcoming party. I also have a fun listening game and some temporary tatoos to hand out at said party. Plus, a lovely CD of Harry Potter activities to use at said party. All provided by Scholastic or Listening Library. Except for the flyers. I made those.

I’m not complaining. It makes my job a heck of a lot easier and fun. (Did I mention the tatoos?!) But, back in May I started blogging about the marketing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In my original post, I made the comment:

I would think that “Hey! Harry Potter 7!” would be all the marketing they need– we already know it’s going to break every record for number of copies sold etc. Why market at all?

But Scholastic is marketing this bad boy, and heavily. I eagerly opened up each new bookmark envelope on the designated day. I eagerly open each new box that comes in too see what fun things we now have. And I love tearing off those count down calendars.

So, imagine my surprise when I read how much money the British publisher, Bloomsbury, has spent on marketing.

That would be a big, fat 0. No marketing. Bloomsbury, it seems, feels like me. You don’t need marketing. It will sell itself and break every single book selling record in the process.

And maybe that’s the best approach to take because really? The best marketing? It’s not the massive queue at the Scholastic booth at the American Library Association’s annual conference for the Deathly Hallows bag. (Yes, I got one, it’s awesome.) It’s the stuff the fans are doing to gear up. It’s the stuff the libraries and book stores are doing at their parties that doesn’t come from Scholastic’s CD of fun. (Pin the tail on the Dudley anyone?) It’s Miss Erin’s countdown of quotations. It’s listening to hours of wizard rock. Heck, it’s the whole phenomenon of wizard rock! (Just go here and keep on going…) It’s the fact that all the discussion lists I’m on are already setting down ground rules so it doesn’t get ruined for a slower reader. It’s making little golden snitches to decorate. It’s spinning theories with your friends. It’s looking over all the international cover art and amazing yourself with how many different ways there are to make a cover for Goblet of Fire or just how cool the art from Germany and Ukraine and Italy are. It’s watching the Potter Puppet Pals and singing that song over and over again.

And all the fun is starting to be ruined. Today, leaked copies started appearing on the internet. I know people who have read large sections of it. And it breaks my heart. Part of the fun of Harry Potter is this whole craziness that’s sprung up around it. Part of the fun is the wait, and lining up at midnight. Half of the joy is in the anticipation. But not for those few who read it first.

What’s worse? People are reading it early who don’t want to be, but feel they must because they’re afraid it’s going be ruined for them if they wait until 12:01 Saturday morning.

I agree with J. K. Rowling:

I want the readers who have, in many instances, grown up with Harry, to embark on the last adventure they will share with him without knowing where they are going…

Seriously. If you tell me how this ends before I read the ending myself (I’m guessing around noon on Saturday), I will take out your kneecaps. With a crowbar.

You couldn’t wait a measley 3 days, 3 hours and 5 minutes? Seriously? You had to be a big enough **** to ruin the fun for everyone? Does that really make you feel like a bigger, better person? Really? Ruining books for little kids and adults?

There’s a good chance I will spend Friday afternoon, a good 6-7 hours before midnight, checking the book in so the holds are trapped for people to pick up Saturday morning. I will NOT read the book. I can wait. One Christmas, some of my presents had loose wrapping paper, so I pried them open to see what I was getting. No one knew. But you know what? Christmas morning was pretty boring without any surprises. Christmas will come again. Harry won’t. Probably.

-posted by kidsilkhaze


6 Responses to Harry Potter and the BIG FAT SECRET, part 3

  1. TheGnat says:

    I have to admit, I’ve been sorely tempted to find out the ending of this Harry Potter book, for the sole purpose of ruining it for a number of people who are looking forward to it. I have resisted, but more out of laziness than a lack of desire for revenge. Because all the people I know who are Potter fans also happen to be the same people who regularly ruin movies and books I’ve been eagerly awaiting.

    Also, while writing this post, I realized that “to which I’ve been looking forward” sounds bizarre, although it’s grammatically correct since forward is a noun, reminding me that English is one of very few languages wherein one cannot be grammatically correct and sound good at the same time…

  2. Jennie says:

    You are an evil, evil person. But I guess I can understand where you’re coming from, but given that I don’t think I have ever ruined a book for you, DON’T TELL ME!!!!

    Also, I want to clarify that if someone accidentally lets something slip or if I overhear a conversation, I’ll be disappointed, but won’t break out the crowbar. If you run up to me and say “Harry dies on page 550. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” Prepare to, in the words of Eric Cartman, cry like Nancy Kerrigan. But I think I’ll be one of the first ones finished with the book amongst the people I hang out with.

    That said, my husband does not read Harry Potter. I know my reading experience will be punctuated with him shouting at me “Harry dies on page 300! Hermione’s really a boy! Ron is Kaiser Soze!”

  3. […] Oops! Forgot to include this post from someone who works in a bookstore. S/he has all sorts of links for you to click through to, […]

  4. […] Oops! Forgot to include this post from someone who works in a bookstore. S/he has all sorts of links for you to click through to, […]

  5. B Barron says:

    I have enjoyed the HP books, but not enough to attend midnight parties or pre-order my copy. Nevertheless, I think it’s mean and petty to deliberately spoil others’ fun, excitement and anticipation when there’s nothing in it for you but a brief feeling of power or importance. Kind of childish, too.

  6. Karna says:

    I agree with you completely about the whole marketing thing-it’s unnecessary. I have to point out, though with regards to the “spoilers”-I have a high level of disbelief. especially because I heard of 3(I think, don’t remember) and they were all different. Obviously, no company can say “yep, that one’s right” as much as it would crack me up if they did, but really-who needs to do the work to get a real spoiler when everyone is giving so much reaction to anything that claims to be the book.

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