Saturday, April 07, 2007

Harry Potter and Libraries

This article in the Wash Post looks at some of the crazy rules libraries are forced to deal with to get the new Harry Potter book. It's actually not new....when the last one came out, I'm told libraries had to sign a contract that the crates of books wouldn't be opened prior to the official release date of the novel. I know one person who reviewed the book for School Library Journal, and in order to get a copy she had to sign a contract stating that she wouldn't talk about it with anyone until after the official release.

It's a bit crazy, but in it's own way a brilliant marketing scheme.



Anonymous said...

it actually has little to do with marketing and all about fairness. Harry Potter is one of the hottest items out there. It's been day and date streeted to prevent anyone from trumping another companies sales by more than a few hours (due to time zone differences). If libraries could make it avail before that day then a huge bit of sales could drop off, not to mention the risk that some clever library staff member would scan the dang thing and hit the internet with it. And even at bookstores there are restriction practices in place including locking up the boxes in areas where only upper management can get in, thoroughly bag checking all staff etc.

Hebdomeros said...

Hm. Marketing scheme was probably not the best phrase for me to use. What I meant was that all the articles being written on this side topic is giving HP free press in papers like Wash Post, NY Times, etc. Some writers would kill 50 people and then pay for this kind of press, and HP gets it for free.

Thanks for the explanation on the why. I still find the precautions a bit funny and a bit unnecessary, but then I've never been wrapped up in HP fever.