Musings and Mumblings
The inner monologue of Kiley Fischer
“Mom, what’s in the ba- HARRY POTTER!”
Categories: Class work

Yes, that was a real conversation with my mother.

Yes, I was 10 years old.

Yes, she had just surprised me with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

I’m not sure if she bought me the book to shut me up every time we took a trip to Giant Eagle or if she bought it because she realized that I had read my paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone so many time in the last month that it was starting to tear the binding.  Either way, she cemented a love of the boy wizard and his adventures that cannot be contained even to this day.

Imagine my excitement, then, when I found out that Striphas used Mr. Potter in his book “The Late Age of Print.”  “Excitement” might not be the correct word.  “Ridiculous elation” might be that phrase I’m looking for.

I had known about the security surrounding Harry Potter, especially around the later releases.  What I didn’t realize was that Scholastic, Bloomsbury, and Raincoast had a deal.  “Together they would agree on a single day on which they would release the opportunity to exploit systemic imbalences in the global market for Potter books that would accompany a more traditional rollout.  While it’s unclear whether Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the first book to be issued in that way, it undoubtedly was among the very first to follow what’s gone on to become a common industry practice for hotly anticipated titles” (Striphas, 146).

I had no idea.  I also had no idea that Scholastic representatives inspected the bookstores and all employees were unable to give names.

This doesn’t apply just to Harry, though.  His story paved the way, but it’s not a unique case.  Twilight boxes were stamped with “do not open until ____”.  The Hunger Games was also highly anticipated.

Harry helped to pave the way for tighter book security the same way he helped paved the way for a generation of new readers, and generations of new readers to come.

Yes, I’m biased towards our hero, but I also see what he’s done for the publishing business as well as future readers.  While he might be everyone’s cup of tea (British pun fully intended), it cannot be denied that he’s changed book culture — from both a business perspective and a reader’s perspective — forever.


6 Comments to ““Mom, what’s in the ba- HARRY POTTER!””

  1. jalengumbs says:

    It is true that Harry Potter helped to introduce several practices, which are now common today. However it is still surprising that so much goes into protecting a story. Maybe its because I never got into the Potter craze, but i’m torn between feelings of respect for the story, but also disbelief that a story can cause such a fuss.

    • kileyfischer says:

      If you think about it, though, there were millions of people looking at this story and wanting a “sneak peek.” How much would Scholastic, Bloomsbury and Raincoast lost if one of those big plot points (Snape’s affiliations, the entire ending, the epilogue, ect.) had been leaked beforehand. I could understand this being extreme for a smaller release, but for the business end of it, I can totally understand the secrecy with Harry Potter.

  2. Jessie says:

    Can you imagine what would’ve happened if Harry Potter came out today, with Internet piracy what it is now? I feel like there would be a lot more pirated copies. I know several people who have “pirated” electronic versions of today’s popular young adult fiction, including The Hunger Games. I don’t necessarily think it would impact the sales of the novel all that much, though, because like I mentioned on my blog, Harry Potter fans just seem to be morally strong.

    • Katelyn Snyder says:

      I was on youtube last night and the ebook versions of the books are just up there. Piracy has come a long way since the Harry Potter books came out (actually the books probably started book piracy up in earnest).

      Fandoms, however are a strong force. I know that when my favorite author, John Green’s, book was released early by accident many of the fans visibly decided to wait to read it. The situation obviously wasn’t as high security but it does show what a dedicated group of fans could do.

    • kileyfischer says:

      It wouldn’t effect sales, but just imagine if the entire “The Prince’s Tale” chapter had leaked. Someone would’ve made a huge profit and that would’ve been an entire plot point leaked. That almost bothers me as much as pirated copies.

  3. I need to to thank you for this great read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new things you post…

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