Tuesday, 12 July 2005

Wizards, Witches & Wallets

Almost forgot to pre-order Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The buzz suggests that J.K. Rowling's sixth entry in the Potter phenomenon could become the fastest-selling book release of all time. Scholastic Inc., the Potter books' American publisher, reports shipping 10.8 million copies of "Half-Blood Prince," the largest release in history. And booksellers Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble have accepted pre-orders in the millions for the hardcover book and its audio version, performed by actor Alan Dale.

According to The Sunday Times, the BBC failed to secure the lucrative audio book rights for this and the final book. Bloomsbury have retained the mellifluous tones of Stephen Fry for the UK market. In the summer of 1999 I briefly met Stephen Fry as I disembarked from a train at Paddington Station. He was most genial and wished me all the best with a job interview at Bloomberg.

Hm, I'm reminded of a Daily Mail editorial that criticized the abundance of Star Wars merchandise! The opposite page showcased a Harry Potter shop window display that equaled, if not surpassed, George Lucas' licensing ambitions.