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Potter publisher promotion

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  • David Lenander
    I ve heard this before, but I know that it s not entirely accurate. I thought that the Golden Compass had an impressive marketing campaign behind it when I
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 9, 2000
      I've heard this before, but I know that it's not entirely accurate. I thought that
      the Golden Compass had an impressive marketing campaign behind it when I first
      heard of the book, it was on a big display at Barnes & Noble. But I'd been hearing
      about Harry Potter before the book was pubilshed in America as the great new
      fantasy. There were signs up about its coming at my local bookstore BEFORE it was
      published, and when I saw it at that bookstore first, it was a big pile on the
      front counter and they were promoting it. I bought it immediately (somehow
      expecting something as good as The Golden Compass (nee Northern Lights)), and read
      it immediately, being rather disappointed, and especially sorry when soon after I
      saw it deeply discounted at Barnes & Noble and/or Borders. Now maybe it wasn't
      promoted with huge ads in the newspapers and beautiful posters, but I ask you
      (someone can forward this to Jane Yolen or Sherwood Smith or Kara Dalkey) what
      other recent children's fantasies have been on the counters of the local bookstores
      and deeply discounted at Borders? When they published Harry Potter they can't have
      been expecting it would be the best-selling release ever, but they were clearly
      expecting sales above Jane Yolen's for "Young Merlin" or _Wizard's Hall_, or
      Sherwood Smith's for the "Crown & Court Duet" or Kara Dalkey's for the _Little
      Sister_ books.

      Ted Sherman wrote:

      > The first two HP books sold so well with almost no marketing; even the third was
      > out before it became a major publishing event in the US. The books are hugely
      > popular not because of the marketing, but in spite of it.
      > Ted
      > Stolzi@... wrote:
      > > I think teachers started using the HP books (assigning them - are they really
      > > doing that??) because they were already hot, and teachers are almost
      > > desperate to turn kids on to reading.
      > >
      > > Somewhere I read that the first one actually took off by word-of-mouth
      > > between the kids themselves.
      > >
      > > Mary S
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      > --
      > Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor
      > Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams and
      > Mythopoeic Literature
      > Box X041, Department of English
      > Middle Tennessee State University
      > Murfreesboro, TN 37132
      > 615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
      > tsherman@...
      > tedsherman@...
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org


      David Lenander, Library Manager I

      University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library Access Services

      Diehl Hall / 505 Essex SE, / Mpls., MN 55455

      Phone: work: (612)626-3375 fax: (612)626-2454 home: (651)292-8887

      e-mail: d-lena@... web-page: http://umn.edu/~d-lena/OnceUponATime.html
    • Donovan Mattole
      I m afraid I have to support Ted on the marketing of the first HP book. It just didn t exist. This is a small point and might be a waste of a post, but I
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 9, 2000
        I'm afraid I have to support Ted on the marketing of the first HP
        book. It just didn't exist. This is a small point and might be a
        waste of a post, but I couldn't help jumping in here. Being on the
        front lines of bookselling (and after nine years of retail, graduate
        school or a career change is looking better every day) I see all of
        the crazy marketing stuff months in advance. If a book begins to
        take off I hear about in conference calls, talk about it in meetings,
        and get way more advertising stuff then I know what to do with. In a
        couple of weeks I will be flying back for a week conference with
        other GM's where we will be spending days talking about how we are
        going to promote all of the big titles that will be releasing this
        Fall (Jordan, King, Martin, and the list goes on) - talk about a
        boring conference. Anyway, Harry Potter caught us all by surprise.
        I still kick myself almost every day for not buying the 1st US
        edition. I first heard about it along with many others across the
        country on NPR's fresh air (or whatever the evening program was) as I
        was driving home from work. It sounded as though it was something I
        might enjoy and the next day I looked it up and we had three copies
        on-hand. I put one on hold, but then reshelved it thinking I
        wouldn't end up buying it. Needless to say I wasn't alone and when I
        changed my mind a few days later the books were gone and the hype had
        began to build. Within a few months we did have stacks and yes it
        was definately a bestseller and hasn't stopped, but when it first
        released there was no hype or big marketing push in any of the
        I agree with most everyone on the Rowling and Pullman comparison.
        They are completely different.
        I just started reading a Robin Hobb book, Ship of Magic. I'm
        curious, has anyone else read her before and if so, what are your
        feelings. She's from the Seattle area and I know she never was
        popular in the 80's when she wrote under the Megan Lindholm name.
        Ever since she changed her pen name to Robin Hobb her books have sold
        like crazy. She's coming to town in a few weeks, so I decided to
        give her a try. Any thoughts? Did she re-invent herself, do you
        think the name made a difference, or was it just the early 90's when
        a lot of the current big selling names first came out with books?

        Happy reading.
        Donovan Mattole
        General Manager
        Borders Books & Music
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