On Harry Potter Madness

As the world hold its collective breath for the impending release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, I had a few thoughts I wanted to share.

First, this website will be a spoiler-free zone. Except for the tidbit that Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans are people. There. I said it.

No, really, spoiler-free zone. I haven’t read a Harry Potter book since number two. I haven’t seen the films since number three. Spoiler-free zone, right here.

Second, I wonder how much of the online leaks of the book (the photograph thing is quite clever) and various retailers breaking street date is genuine stupidity and/or a clusterfuck, and how much of it is Scholastic/Bloomsbury/Rowling wanting to crank the hype machine up that much more.

Y’see, if I were a cynical man, and we all know that I’m not, I’d find the digital photographs suspicious. Almost a “See, this is the real book. There it is, you can’t deny it” sort of suspicious. Would Scholastic go to the time and trouble to have a bogus book written up, laid out, printed, and bound? The photographs–and yes, I’ve seen some of them–look amateurish. There are better angles that could have been used, better set-ups to use. You don’t even have to think hard to find several other better ways to take digital photos of every page of Deathly Hollows. Were I a Romulan, and I’m manifestly not a Romulan, perhaps I’d be screaming “It’s a faaaake!” right now. I dunno, maybe the photos are legit. Maybe.

And for the early shipments from online retailers? I won’t say they’re carefully coordinated, but surely, surely they’re not so damaging. Why? Because with every early-shipped book that’s reported on in the media, it adds to the hype machine that little bit more. The rabid fanbase gets just a little more rabid until, lo and behold, the book finally goes on sale.

And there you have it. Spoiler-free zone. Bertie Bott’s beans are people. And the rampaging hype machine.

Gah, I’m so indifferent. 🙂

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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