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JK Rowling Pulls Off Biggest Magic Act of All

No one but she and her publishing company are actually going to make money off the millions of Deathly Hollows books sold. Amazon has over 1,000,000 pre-orders world wide. Bookstores are planning events. But because discount competition is so fierce, the book will be sold at cost or at a loss. It seems that with Deathly Hollows, JK Rowling has pulled off an extraordinary feat: making her book so desirous that it will cost everyone to read it, even the retailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

6 Comments

  1. Wendy
    Jun 18, 2007 @ 11:17:43

    A lot of independent bookstores (and even the chains!) are whining about this – but frankly I have little sympathy. You’ve got the consumer in the door – it’s now the job of the bookstore to convince them to buy MORE than just Harry Potter. Displays, recommendations, impulse buys placed by the register. Frankly, smart bookstores are going to make plenty of dough off this, they just have to be creative about it. Just because they’re coming in to buy Deathly Hollows, doesn’t mean they also can’t buy other books, magazines, stationary, greeting cards, music, DVDs etc. while they’re there.

    I’ll probably end up buying my copy at Costco (thanks to the discount) and I guarantee I’ll also be purchasing my usual milk, bottled water and cleaning supplies while I’m there. I’m not making a special trip just for Harry.

  2. Rosario
    Jun 18, 2007 @ 12:35:16

    *sigh* Unfortunately, my local bookstore will be one of the very few making a profit. They’re the only ones offering it in Uruguay on the day of the release, so they’re charging over $40 US to us desperate types.

  3. Angelle
    Jun 18, 2007 @ 18:42:35

    Rosario,

    Did you check out Amazon? They may be cheaper.

  4. Ciar Cullen
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 08:44:54

    Yeah, that’s a real tear-jerker, huh?

  5. Rosario
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 18:18:08

    Rosario,

    Did you check out Amazon? They may be cheaper.

    Angelle:
    Yes, it’s a lot cheaper at amazon, but I’m not in the US, so I wouldn’t be able to read it on the day of the release, but a couple of weeks later (I did mention I’m the desperate type, didn’t I?).

  6. 2x
    Jun 20, 2007 @ 14:41:17

    Yah, I agree with Wendy–in retail terms, HP 7 will be a loss leader: sold at (or below) cost or given away, to get people through the door where you work the rest of your retail mojo to get them to buy your other goods.

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