‘J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography’ offers new insight into the Harry Potter books

The cover of J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography (1997-2013) by Phillip W. Errington.

The cover of J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography (1997-2013) by Phillip W. Errington.

Last week, Bloomsbury Publishing’s Academic imprint published Phillip W. Errington’s J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography (1997-2013), offering fascinating insight into the publishing of Harry Potter.

Chronicling the literary history of J.K. Rowling’s works, the book features every edition of Rowling’s books, from the first edition of Philosopher’s Stone to The Cuckoo’s Calling. Along with descriptions of the individual editions, the bibliography includes edits and corrections made by Rowling and her editors, as well as extensive quotes from Nigel Newton, founder and chief executive officer of Bloomsbury Publishing.

The author of the bibliography, Phillip Errington, spent five years gathering the information that fills the 544-page volume. He spent time in Bloomsbury archives, speaking with anyone involved in the series from the early days until today.

Bloomsbury’s website advertises the book with the following synopsis:

This is the definitive bibliography of the writings of J. K. Rowling. In addition to complete bibliographic details of each edition of all her books, pamphlets and original contributions to published works, there is detailed information on the publishing history of her work, including fascinating extracts from correspondence, and information on Rowling at auction. This will be the first source on Rowling consulted by textual scholars, book dealers and collectors, auction houses, critics and researchers. The aim of the book is to record fact and dispel rumour on the fascinating publishing history of the Harry Potter series.

J.K. Rowling herself praised the book, saying, “As someone who respects comprehensive research, I am in awe of the level of detail and amount of time Philip Errington has dedicated to this slavishly thorough and somewhat mind-boggling bibliography.

The Guardian offered highlights of the book in their review, including J.K. Rowling’s revelation of alternative titles for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — Harry Potter and the Death Eaters, Harry Potter and the Fire Goblet and Harry Potter and the Three Champions. In addition, Errington shares many notable stories in the book, like the handing over of the manuscript for Order of the Phoenix. 

[Christopher] Little [J.K. Rowling’s agent, 1997-2011] summoned [Nigel] Newton [C.E.O. of Bloomsbury] to The Pelican pub in Fulham for a drink, he told Errington – Newton knew the meeting could be significant, as the location was where Little had delivered the previous book to Bloomsbury. “So I drove to The Pelican, a pub off the Fulham Road not far from Stamford Bridge, in a state of high alert. And I went in and there was a massive Sainsbury’s plastic carrier bag at this feet … he said nothing about that and I said nothing and he just said ‘Drink?’ and I said, ‘a pint, please’. So we stood at the bar and drank our pints and said nothing about Harry Potter. But when we left I walked out with the carrier bag. It was a classic dead letter drop,” said Newton.

For likewise stories, purchase J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography (1997-2013) from Bloomsbury Publishing today, £67.50. The book will be available from April 23 in the United States, $128. If you are interested, pre-order the book here.

Don’t forget! Next month, Little, Brown will publish Very Good Lives, the text of J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard Commencement Address in book form.

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Harry Potter ebooks now available on Oyster with Pottermore partnership

J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore has partnered with ebook service Oyster to make all Harry Potter– related books by J.K. Rowling available to subscribers.

For the first time, electronic editions of the seven Harry Potter books and the three selections in the Hogwarts Library collection are accessible through a service other than the Pottermore Shop. With an Oyster subscription of $9.95 a month, customers can read the Harry Potter titles along with thousands of others in the Oyster library. Oyster is only purchasable in the United States.

Subscribers can access the books with the latest version of the Oyster app, version 1.9 and ¾ — available in the App Store and Google Play. To go along with the Harry Potter theme, Oyster released new reader themes for the four Hogwarts houses. Users can choose their house theme, either Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, or tap the Sorting Hat icon to have one selected at random.

"House Themes", inspired by the Hogwarts houses, as seen on Oyster.

“House Themes”, inspired by the Hogwarts houses, as seen on Oyster.

In addition to all this, Oyster is dedicating this week’s edition of their review publication to Harry Potter. In a preview article released today, young adult novelist Lauren Oliver writes about her experience with the Potter books.

While the whole collection is offered at a reasonable monthly price under $10, ebook editions and digital audiobooks of the series are still available to purchase at the Pottermore Shop. Once purchased, the file can be transferred onto a maximum of eight devices. The series is priced at $57.54 from the Shop.

Do you have Oyster? Will you be subscribing to read the books? Tell us in the comments below.

New images from the first illustrated Harry Potter book released

Today, Bloomsbury Publishing and Scholastic, Inc. released four new images from the upcoming, fully-illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, to be released in October this year.

The pictures, illustrated by artist Jim Kay, depict four of the series’ key characters, Rubeus Hagrid, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Draco Malfoy in stunning detail.

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Related: ‘Harry Potter’ to be transformed into new, fully illustrated editions by Jim Kay

The book will be published worldwide October 6, 2015, beginning the first series of fully-illustrated Harry Potter books. The books are planned to come out every year subsequently. As the press release reads, “The hardback edition will include ribbon marker, head and tail bands, illustrated endpapers and  artwork on every spread.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is currently available for pre-order on Bloomsbury’s website, featuring the following blurb:

Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay’s dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters in this deluxe full-colour illustrated hardback edition of the nation’s favourite children’s book – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Brimming with rich detail and humour that perfectly complements J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic, Jim Kay’s glorious illustrations will captivate fans and new readers alike.

In addition to the new illustrated books, Bloomsbury will release a gift edition hardback of Philosopher’s Stone on February 5, coated in a “beautiful foiled cloth slipcase decorated with brand new line art by Jonny Duddle.” The book can be pre-ordered here.

Former Sony exec named new Pottermore CEO

Susan Jurevics

Susan Jurevics

In a press release issued today, Pottermore announced that Susan Jurevics, previously a top executive at Sony, will be taking over as chief executive officer of the company.

Starting on October 1st, Jurevics will be working alongside Julian Thomas, who has been promoted to Chief Operations Officer, to run J.K. Rowling’s unique digital venture. Thomas has been acting CEO at Pottermore since Charlie Redmayne left in July.

According to the press release, over career, Susan has managed many leading entertainment, media and technology companies. Most recently she was a Senior Vice President at Sony and was in charge of marketing the brand while she was there. During this time she also led Sony’s global partnership with Pottermore. Currently based in New York, Jurevics will be moving to London to take up the position of c.e.o.

Jurevics’s comment from the press release:

“I am delighted to be joining Pottermore, a business I know well already, to take it into the next exciting stage of its development. A world of new opportunities is opening up and Pottermore will be there at the forefront of digital innovation. I’d like to thank Julian Thomas for taking the helm in the interim and I look forward to working with him, the fantastic team now in place at Pottermore, J.K. Rowling, and the team at The Blair Partnership.”

Neil Blair, chairman and cofounder of Pottermore said, “We’re delighted to welcome Susan over to Pottermore. We have enjoyed working with her at Sony and are looking forward to her leading the team into exciting new challenges. She has powerful global experience in brand and retail, as well as all the managerial attributes and creativity to steer Pottermore through an increasingly complex digital landscape.”

Although it’s interesting Pottermore chose such a close connection, its not at all surprising. Hopefully Jurevics’s experience will help her lead the company into greater success. We wish her all the best!

Update: We found an interesting video of Susan, in which she talks about marketing the Sony brand and calls for more consumer input. This is something Potter fans have been vying for since Pottermore’s launch, and Jurevics could just be the perfect person to meet their/our needs as users. (Note: video is two years old.)

Related: Charlie Redmayne resigns as C.E.O. of Pottermore

Charlie Redmayne resigns from Pottermore

Charlie Redmayne

Charlie Redmayne

As we reported last month, Charlie Redmayne has reigned from his post as chief executive officer at Pottermore. Redmayne will be leaving J.K. Rowling’s company to head Harper Collins U.K.

Taking up the position in November 2011, Redmayne transformed Pottermore.com from potential failure to a pioneer in the publishing industry, as the exclusive place to purchase Harry Potter e-books and the only place to find new information on the world of Harry Potter from the author herself.

In the interim, current chief technology officer Julian Thomas will act in Redmayne’s position.

In honor of Redmayne’s leaving, we’re counting down his top five greatest achievements as c.e.o of the company…

1. Launch of the Pottermore Shop – For the first time Harry Potter e-books were available via the Pottermore Shop when it launched in March 2012. The launch was a landmark moment for not only Harry Potter fans, but also for the publishing industry; for the first time ever, major online booksellers like BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon agreed to direct their customers to the Pottermore Shop. The Pottermore Shop also marked the first time that an author set up their own exclusive shop to sell their books – leave it to Rowling to do so! About 1.5m dollars worth of e-books were sold in the first three months, which definitely sustains its top place on this list of the CEO’s greatest achievements.

2. Launch of Pottermore.com – After months and months of waiting and anticipation, Pottermore.com was launched quietly in April 2012, under the direction of Redmayne. Millions of fans flocked to the site to read new content from J.K. Rowling and to discover the Moments. Very few moments have been like that post-Deathly Hallows, and it was exciting to see the fandom in full swing once again.

3. Release of Sony Products, Wonderbook games (Book of SpellsBook of Potions) and Pottermore at PlayStation Home – Sony was a founding partner of Pottermore, and over the past year we’ve seen the release of three fantastic products – Book of Spells for Wonderbook for PlayStation 3, and its sequel Book of Potions, and also Pottermore at PlayStation Home. All three of them are groundbreaking innovations – both of the Wonderbook augmented-reality games are the first of its kind, and Pottermore on PlayStation Home is the closest MMORPG-like atmosphere for Harry Potter that fans can get. They have also been commercially successfully, with Book of Spells selling 1 million copies last Christmas.

4. Improvements to the Pottermore site – From the beginning, you could tell that Redmayne really wanted to take advantage of Pottermore and push it to its highest potential. The improvements took form in different ways, whether it was adding sounds or audiobook snippets to the site, making easier to comment or adding the user status bar for profiles, or most recently the major revamp of the site. Not all of them were a hit with fans, but you could tell Redmayne and the whole Pottermore team tried its hardest and continues to do so.

5. Marketing of the site – During Redmayne’s tenure as c.e.o., the marketing of the site has seen a great increase. We’ve seen ads all over the web (garnered this is due in part by the tracking of our research for this site), and even on television. Pottermore has done a great job advertising on fansites and keeping fans updated. They also partnered with Barnes and Noble, which hosted a Harry Potter party last year in stores. Redmayne personally stayed on top of his game, appearing at international book fairs and publishing conferences. All of these benefited the site and the visibility of the site’s offerings.

When we talked to him this past February, Charlie named the launch of the site and recruiting a “passionate, talented, and loyal team to deliver J.K. Rowling’s vision” as his greatest accomplishments. You can read our full exclusive interview with him right here.

We are sorry to see Charlie go but wish him all the best. He’s done a fantastic job as CEO and we’re sure he’ll do the same at HarperCollins U.K.

We will be sure to share with you once a permanent replacement is announced, so stick with us at Pottermore News for the latest.

Correction: A previous version of this post said that Redmayne started in October 2011. This was wrong, as he started in November of that year.

Mystery Twitter account that outed Robert Galbraith’s true identity revealed

J.K. Rowling, above, is "very angry" over the leak.

J.K. Rowling, above, is “very angry” over the leak.

The identity of the person behind the mystery Twitter account that ultimately led to the outing of J.K. Rowling as the author of The Cuckoo’s Calling has been revealed.

The BBC reports that the anonymous tweeter was Judith Callegari, a suburban mother of two. Callegari was told that J.K. Rowling was the true author of the book by her best friend’s husband, Chris Gossage. Gossage is a partner at Russells Solicitors, a law firm specializing in the entertainment industry.

Understandably, J.K. Rowling said in a statement that she is very angry to hear about this breach of confidentiality.

“I have today discovered how the leak about Robert’s true identity occurred. A tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know.

“To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm, and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.”

Russells has also released a statement regarding the situation, saying that the reveal was made during a private conversation between Gossage and a trustworthy friend, Callegari. Russells immediately contacted Rowling’s agents when they learned of the leak.

“We, Russells Solicitors, apologise unreservedly for the disclosure caused by one of our partners, Chris Gossage, in revealing to his wife’s best friend, Judith Callegari, during a private conversation that the true identity of Robert Galbraith was in fact JK Rowling.

“Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly. On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified JK Rowling’s agent. We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither JK Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.”

Through an anonymous Twitter account, Callegari revealed to a Sunday Times journalist that J.K. Rowling was the true author of The Cuckoo’s Calling. An editor for the newspaper then did some investigating, sent other Rowling manuscripts, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Casual Vacancy, along with The Cuckoo’s Calling, to a pair of linguistic computers. The computers verified that they were written by the same author, and, after notifying Rowling’s reps, they ran with the story on Saturday.

Since then, demand for The Cuckoo’s Calling has skyrocketed, becoming an instant bestseller. Bookstores and online retailers are completely sold out, and a second printing of 300,000 is on its way. Learn more about the leak and read all the latest news here, at our page dedicated to The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Thanks MuggleNet for the tip.

Robert Galbraith official website and Twitter launched

UK Cover of The Cuckoo's Calling

UK Cover of The Cuckoo’s Calling

The official website and Twitter account for Robert Galbraith, the pseudonym of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, has launched.

The website (www.robert-galbraith.com) includes the synopsis and reviews of The Cuckoo’s Calling and an author biography that simply states that Galbraith is a pseudonym for Rowling, along with an F.A.Q section. In this section, Rowling answers some questions about the book, writing under a pseudonym, and the book’s sequel.

From the site:

Why did you choose to write a crime novel and why under a pseudonym?

I’ve always loved reading detective fiction. Most of the Harry Potter stories are whodunits at heart (‘Order of the Phoenix’ is more of a why-did-he), but I’ve wanted to try the real thing for a long time.

As for the pseudonym, I was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer.

Why did you choose to write it as a man? Did it influence your writing in anyway?

I certainly wanted to take my writing persona as far away as possible from me, so a male pseudonym seemed a good idea. I am proud to say, though, that when I ‘unmasked’ myself to my editor David Shelley who had read and enjoyed ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ without realizing I wrote it, one of the first things he said was ‘I never would have thought a woman wrote that.’ Apparently I had successfully channeled my inner bloke!

Was revealing the true identity of Robert Galbraith not simply an elaborate marketing campaign to help boost sales?

If anyone had seen the labyrinthine plans I laid to conceal my identity (or indeed my expression when I realised that the game was up!) they would realise how little I wanted to be discovered. I hoped to keep the secret as long as possible. I’m grateful for all the feedback from publishers and readers, and for some great reviews. Being Robert Galbraith has been all about the work, which is my favourite part of being a writer. This was not a leak or marketing ploy by me, my publisher or agent, both of whom have been completely supportive of my desire to fly under the radar. If sales were what mattered to me most, I would have written under my own name from the start, and with the greatest fanfare.

At the point I was ‘outed’, Robert had sold 8500 English language copies across all formats (hardback, eBook, library and audiobook) and received two offers from television production companies. The situation was becoming increasingly complicated, largely because Robert was doing rather better than we had expected him to, but we all still hoped to keep the secret a little longer. Yet Robert’s success during his first three months as a published writer (discounting sales made after I was found out) actually compares favourably with J.K. Rowling’s success over the equivalent period of her career!

Rowling also reveals that she has just finished the sequel to Cuckoo, and it is suspected to be published next year. You can click to read more of Rowling’s answers to the F.A.Q.’s here.

As stated above, a Twitter account was also launched, and you can check “him” out @_RGalbraith. Hopefully he’ll be tweeting a little more than his creator! 🙂

Over the past weekend, J.K. Rowling was outed as the real author of The Cuckoo’s Calling over the weekend by a Sunday Times editor. You can read her statement regarding the situation, a synopsis of the book and more here, at our page dedicated to the book.

Happy Thursday!

“The Cuckoo’s Calling” to receive 300,000-copy reprint

UK Cover of The Cuckoo's Calling

UK Cover of The Cuckoo’s Calling

The Wall Street Journal reports that The Cuckoo’s Calling will receive a 300,000-copy reprint, as announced by Mulholland Books, the book’s publisher.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is currently sold out on Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com, and print copies are running scarce after the announcement that J.K. Rowling was the true author of the novel. New copies of the book will begin to ship later this week.

On Saturday, the Sunday Times revealed that J.K. Rowling was the real author behind The Cuckoo’s Calling, using Robert Galbraith as a pseudonym. Prior to the announcement, The Cuckoo’s Calling has received universal praise but the sales have been far from stellar, especially on Rowling standards. Sales reports have varied, with numbers between 500 to 1,500 copies sold.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the publisher has declined to say how many hardcover editions of the book are currently in print in the U.S. “Over the weekend, a spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble described the book as a slow seller until the Sunday Times (London) unveiled Ms. Rowling as the author,” the article reports.

There has already been confirmation that J.K. Rowling will be noted as the real author in the author biography. In other words, the book and its sequels will continue to be written and published under the name of Robert Galbraith.

Here’s to hoping everyone will receive their copies soon!

J.K. Rowling breaks silence and tweets about “The Cuckoo’s Calling”

Stop whatever you’re doing! J.K. Rowling has tweeted.

 

In response to the recent news that Rowling was in fact the author of the newly-released, critically acclaimed crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, J.K. Rowling has released a full statement on her website explaining how she feels about the leak.

“I hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience! It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback from publishers and readers under a different name. The upside of being rumbled is that I can publicly thank my editor David Shelley, who has been a true partner in crime, all those people at Little, Brown who have been working so hard on The Cuckoo’s Calling without realising that I wrote it, and the writers and reviewers, both in the newspapers and online, who have been so generous to the novel.  And to those who have asked for a sequel, Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances.”  

Please note that this statement is one that was already released to the Sunday Times, who broke the story.

On Saturday, the Sunday Times revealed that J.K. Rowling was the real author behind The Cuckoo’s Calling, using Robert Galbraith as a pseudonym. The Cuckoo’s Calling has received universal praise and good sale numbers, considering Galbraith was a debut novelist writing crime fiction, a genre not doing very well these days.

Pottermore wins at Bookseller Industry Awards

The Pottermore Shop

Pottermore won the Digital Strategy Award at The Bookseller Industry Awards for their launch strategy for the Pottermore Shop, shown above.

This past Tuesday, Pottermore won the Digital Strategy of the Year Award at The Bookseller Industry Awards. They beat out some tough competition, including Random House, Kobo, Penguin, and even Bloomsbury.

The award was given to the Pottermore team for their “clear strategy to deliver a fully immersive experience” with the Pottermore Shop and its “phenomenal commercial results,” according to The Bookseller website. Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne was at the ceremony to collect the award.

Philip Jones of FutureBook wrote an interesting article about Pottermore’s win and why they deserved it. It is definitely worth a read.

From the article:

So why Pottermore [than the other candidates]? The important thing is to separate the strategy from the fact that this is the Harry Potter brand. Potter guarantees an audience, it does not secure success.

Pottermore did not win the award simply because it had the Harry Potter brand, it won because of the vision, and because of the execution of that vision. Pottermore could have been a disaster. If you want the background here it is: Pottermore, before its launch, was being written off. The strategy, as stated at its slightly premature announcement, looked overly ambitious, and what we had seen of the site up until the launch point, seemed a touch flakey. On the e-book side, all we really knew was that OverDrive was involved, and even that had some shaking their heads. Few could square the circle on how Pottermore would live up to its promise of making the e-books widely available across all devices from one location.

The Bookseller Industry Awards celebrates the very best of the publishing and book industry, recognizing the successes of everything from retailing to libraries in the publishing world. The Pottermore Team is headed by CEO Charlie Redmayne and CTO Julian Thomas, and includes a number of professionals who help run Pottermore.

Congratulations to the Pottermore team on winning the award! You’ve done an amazing job over the past year and I’m sure you’ll continue to do amazing things. 🙂