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?
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