JKR Spokespeople: Book Six Release Date Rumors False, Info to go on JKRowling.comHarry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Two separate spokespeople for Jo Rowling told TLC today that all these bookstore "memos" going around telling people to expect an announcement on the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in early- to mid-January are completely uninformed. "If there was an announcement about to be made early next year no one would know about it," one said. Another: "When there's news it will be on JKR's site," and anything else is pure speculation. That's not to say that it's out of the question that an announcement isn't far off, just that if there is one, the news would never reach a bookstore before being on JKR's site. Also: She is definitely still writing (as she said on her site!) and it would take a little while after handing the book in to determine a date. (Update: The recent "word change" on the JKR welcome page doesn't change this; the info we used to make this post was accurate at the time this post was made, the "still writing" part perhaps one or two days prior, a negligible difference - and the rest of the post still holds very true. Any info coming from a bookstore is pure speculation or educated guess. They might indeed get the month right, but fans have been speculating on the same time period for a long while, and no bookstore got any official word from anyone.)
And from what we at TLC know of the process behind setting one of these dates, we expect only one thing: to be completely surprised.