Amazon Posts First Review of Beedle the Bard Tales by JK Rowling

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Dec 14, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

Yesterday we first told you that Amazon.com bought “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” for an astonishing $3.98 million dollars. Today, the online retailer has posted the first review of the tales contained in the special handwritten book by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The first online is “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot.” Readers will recall these stories were mentioned in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” To read an overview containing most of the plot click here.(SPOILERS!) Amazon states that they will continue to post more reviews of each of the tales contained in the book, and we will update with more on these when we can.





63 Responses to Amazon Posts First Review of Beedle the Bard Tales by JK Rowling

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... I thought Jo held the copyrights to this book and it was not allowed to be published anywhere? What happened?? Also, the link to Amazon is not working for me.

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They didn’t actually post the story just a review

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I’m not gonna read it and hold out that I still may be able to hear the full story one day.

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I’m looking forward to Babbity Rabbity myself…..

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Thanks leaky! Wow the story is Fantastic! I now officially LOVE amazon!

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I’ll wait until the entire book is released (I think it will be!). I’d rather do that than read the summaries.

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WOW i am glad Amazon boght it,

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Did she handwrite all six copies or just one and it was printed from her original writing?

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I came into work this morning and was shocked that it was Amazon.com who won the auction! I think what they are doing is incredilbe, allowing all of the Harry Potter fans to gain access to a currently non-published work. As long as they play by Jo’s rules, I have alot of respect for them. All that money to charity, it is a beautiful thing really. Off to read the summaries, I for one, am quite impatient :)

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The story is awesome!!

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All seven copies were handwritten and illustrated by JKR, and each has unique binding and decorations, Molly.

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Thanks GOD than Amazon.com bought the book. BlogHogwarts.com

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SQUEEEE!!! I knew we would see some of it eventually!

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I’m confused. There is a stipulation in the auction book stating that purchase of the book does not include purchase of the copyright. How can Amazon now publish the text?

Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

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I am avoiding the review, for the moment at least, until we find out what the likelihood is that it will be published, or that Jo will release the full text.

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Amazon aren’t publishing the text (which they can’t do unless Jo says they can because she kept the copyright). What they have posted is a review, which I presume is legitimate under copyright law (and I am sure Amazon knows the copyright laws in this area much better than I do) as long as they don’t include too much of the actual text.

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I think it’s great that Amazon is doing this for the fans. You can really tell the author of the review is a massive Potter fan..especially the numbers on the toes comment :-)

As for those mentioning the copyright, the site just has a review- with spoiler cautions… but not the actual story for us to read.

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CW, they didn’t publish the text. They simply wrote a review of it. It’s no different than if you or I quickly wrote down the plot to Deathly Hallows and included our own thoughts on the story in a blog for example. Plus, no one has to pay for the information. If they had retyped the entire story word for word and put it on the site, then it would have been a violation.

Anyway…The cool thing about fairy tales is there is always a similar version of a story in each culture. These just happen to be from the “wizarding world.” This story is a lot like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, or one of my favorite stories as a kid, Strega Nona. Strega Nona was a children’s book about a kind elderly woman with a magic pasta pot.

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I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’m glad that the book is not in some private gazillionaire’s hands, being mauled and destroyed by his/her grandchildren. On the other hand, as much as I love Amazon and think they have the best of intentions, they’re a corporate entity and will ultimately have their best interests at heart. (And having spent 4 millions bucks, who can blame them?) If they’re truly going to defer to Rowling’s wishes in all things, God bless them. But pics and reviews online for all to see? Doesn’t that in some way lessen the specialness of the book for the six private friends for whom Rowling designed the book in the first place? OK, they actually own one, but I can’t help feeling that if Rowling wanted the world to have access to “Beedle the Bard…” she would have seen to it herself.

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Guys, this book will never be printed for the masses.

She intended these 7 copies to be a rare, extremely valuable item. They’re not only valuable because they’re handwritten and wrapped in a leather case, the content itself is extremely rare. If JKR had ever suggested to Amazon that the Beedle and the Bard would be released at a later date for the public, it never would have sold for nearly $4 Million.

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I don’t think the book will ever be published. If she had intended for the book to be published, she would have to have forewarned and people who wanted to buy the book because that would definetly decrease the value. I would love for her to publish it, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I really hope I have to eat my words on this one, though :)

About the possibility or Amazon getting sued…I doubt they will, because they’re reviewing it, not putting out the text. IF they did put out any large amount of text, though, I think they would have some trouble on their hands.

I’m still so excited that 4 million went to charity! Ah, it’s so awesome! That money should go a looong way.

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I am glad Amazon bought the book. It is clear from the pictures that Amazon is breaking no rules, and I love the reviews! It’s as close as we can get to the stories. The reviewer also has a way with language that makes you feels Rowling’s style in the book. Thanks Amazon! As to what’s in it for them, I suppose it’s good publicity. If all the kids who wander to Amazon to read the reviews then browse the site and ask mom and dad for more books, maybe it will pay off…

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mollywobble: Some buyers might have cared if Jo published Beedle the Bard afterwards, but I doubt Amazon will since they themselves are making as much of it public as they can legally, and I think they would be quite happy if Jo publishes it because their business is selling books.

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I told you all -this stinks !

The real fans -totally ignored -whilst they worship at the alter of coporate greed !

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Just read the comments on the discussion forum and you will figure out that Harry Potter is substandard “literature”

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I also want to know about Babbity Rabbity!

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Roonwit, that is possible. But Unless Amazon is the soul seller of the book, they wouldn’t make much money anyway. My point is the book would have sold for less if there was a possibilty the stories would be sold to the masses. I highly doubt Amazon, even though it’s a huge company, would simply throw out $4 million to buy something that isn’t as rare as they thought it would be.

Besides, I think they bought the book, not for what it is, but to use it to get people on their website. The idea is every time a Potter fans reads about Beedle and the Bard they could potentially buy something on their site. So not only is it a good marketing strategy, they can probably list it as a tax exemption because in reality it is a $4Million dollar gift to charity.

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anyone with amazon.com accout can ask in the website’s forum what is the name of the main character of the first tale??? or the name of the father? thanks :) i don’t have accout in amazon and i need to buy to ask a question to the editors.

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mollywobble, you may only join the discussion forum if you buy something at amazon. I tried to join the “pathetic” discussion and when i pressed the send-button was told to buy something before otherwise i could not post. I didn´t the majority is of course anti-potter as could be expected. There are some voices that those who praise the books in forums are marketing ppl. I guess they have a point there. DH was disliked by many fans and after some voices in favor of the 7th book suddenly everybody loves it. But there is a world outside the fandom ppl who read more than HP and who can tell you how much Jo has stolen from previous stories about boy-wizards.

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mollywobble: There was never any statement from Jo that the book would never be published, all the sales literature says is that Jo retains copyright, so the buyer can’t publish it. So any buyer ran the risk that Jo would publish the stories later. And the book they bought will always be unique even if the stories are published, because no mass version will be handwritten by Jo, and (unless Amazon requests it and Jo agrees), I doubt a mass version will have Jo’s original illustrations. Of course it is good publicity of Amazon buying this book, but I would much rather this money goes to charity rather than to pay for adverts.

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Could the reviewer have been Melissa – just think – she has mysteriouly dissapeared from Pottercast – maybe Amazon hired her to review the book!

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I am glad Amazon got it. I could very well have been bought by Mr. Richie McMoney who would have keep it under glass with a force field around it. At least this way we will know something about it and – never say never- JKR could decide to publish it someday, we have to buy it from somebody; no skin off of my nose if it has to be from Amazon. I am very glad to see that the tenor of the conversation here is quite civilized. The posters at Amazon seem quite bitter and downright vicious at times. Make the best of what has already happened, no use in complaining about it. I try to live my life that way and will happily file this under – it’s done, dela with it.

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Sushovan-

Nice thought, but Melissa’s just taking a break to write her book :) Be awesome if that were true, though…

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Personally, I think this is fantastic, and I could care less “why” Amazon is doing it.

The fact of the matter is that the plan Amazon has to post reviews of the stories and later take the book on tour is a most generous way to bring this experience to the masses. Amazon won’t benefit financially (not directly anyway) from doing this, so I can’t see why anyone should fault them. In fact, I honestly thing that this preserves or even adds some classic JK Rowling magic to the whole affair; if one child in a hundred who sees the book is inspired to pick up something else to read or even write something on their own then the payoff is more than money ever would be.

Certainly it doesn’t hurt Amazon that a few of those kids might end up making purchases on their site, but I don’t think there’s anything at all sinister or “corporate evil” about trying to increase the sales of their products when the end result is more people spending their time reading a book.

As for the negative comments, I say big deal. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; their contempt for the series is just as valid as the opinions of those who love Rowling’s work. The undeniable truth is that it wouldn’t be as popular as it is if it weren’t any good. It also helps to remember that most of the idiots who are out there bashing the series are talking out their backsides because they haven’t actually read the stories!

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No wonder amazon got it. All the money they made from selling deathyly hallows wouldv’e given them much more.

At least ithere in public. And maybe one day it’ll be in a museum.

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Amazon is being so generous! Thank you! <3

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roowit, I never said “Jo said it would never be published.” It’s just my opinion that the book would have sold for less if there had been a plan to release the book. The book may be released some day, but I doubt it.

Secunda, I’m not sure why you are directing your comments at me. I did suggest that amazon bought the book as a marketing ploy for their website, not for the HP books themselves. I personally loved Deathly Hallows. It was the type of book I was expecting after OotP, and was disappointed by most of HBP. As for JKR taking ideas from other books or stories, I have not read that discussion so I can’t comment on it. In fact, I’m not all that interested in discussing fairy tales, I just want to see what the book is like. You have to remember, the fantasy/coming of age tale typically follows similar rules. So it’s very likely that you will see similar themes in every fantasy novel.

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I hope she publishes a non-handwritten version “fairy-tale” style for us masses to enjoy.

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Here’s the permalink: www.amazon.com/beedlebard

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Off Topic question…. has anyone who ordered one recieved thier Southeby’s Auction book from Beetle the Bard yet? Just curious

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Here’s what Amazon answered in the discussions: “Amazon.com Bookstore says: Our primary reason for buying this book was to thank J. K. Rowling, who has done us all an immeasurably valuable service by enlarging our understanding of the way books can touch people-and in particular, children-in modern times. By purchasing this book, we can in a tangible way say thanks to Ms. Rowling for all that she has done for readers around the world. We’re also delighted that the proceeds are being donated to her charity, which has done so much to help children.

And we’re very happy to be able to share the book with her many fans through pictures, reviews, and eventually through a tour (which is in its very early planning stages). Like most of you, we are true bibliophiles, and we feel very fortunate to be in a position to share such a rare treasure. “

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Just refilled the candy bowl with the best chocolate I can find….folks, you “sound” as if you all can use some!

Must we go through the same debates with the same people in thread after thread, indeed day after day? Several of us, working from different assumptions, have made the case that the Tales “will probably” get published, “sooner or later, in some format”. Some simply believe it will never happen, and that’s ok.

If/when the Tales are published, won’t that be wonderful? And if they never get published, there ain’t anything we can do about it. So, patience, constant vigilence, and let’s see what happens?

BTW, it was Melissa who posted the update yesterday about Amazon buying the Tales…Melissa, ya gotta work on your own book, which promises to be very interesting!

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“mollywobble, you may only join the discussion forum if you buy something at amazon. I tried to join the “pathetic” discussion and when i pressed the send-button was told to buy something before otherwise i could not post.”

Really, you were asked to buy something? I was only prompted to enter my account details – can’t you just register as a user with your email, but not actually make a purchase? Creating an account isn’t dependent on actually buying anything.

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That story is sooooo cute! I reminded me of the “Little Miss Bossy” story book! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Miss_Bossy Wow…the cover and illustrations are beautiful!

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I’m delighted that Amazon bought it. We get to look at up close pictures of the lovely book and find out the gist of the fairy tales. How wonderful! AND $4 million just went to charity. I call that a “win-win” situation. Vis a vis Amazon—you can post a comment (I’ve posted several responses to the idiots there who think they are “above” reading Harry Potter) if you have EVER bought anything at Amazon. Will they get sued? No way, Amazon can afford the highest price attorneys. They probably get a whopping tax deduction, a TON of free publicity and people come to their site. That’s excellent marketing.

Susan

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I don’t think anyone is fighting budb, just a healthy discussion. But I’m still happy you’re always there to hand out chocolate when it’s needed. =)

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How many days before the whole thing is available on the net? I bet we’ll all know it off by heart by the New Year!

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I learned long ago that chocolate is one of the food groups, and if you get chocolate covered fruits (strawberries, blueberries, cherries…), why, that’s two food groups accounted for

I think I’m having one of those “I cannot stand conflct” moments….I’ll go drink a pot of strong coffee and be back to my ole grumpy self shortly ;-).

wasnt directing my comments at either you or roon btw, the two of you are always fun to talk with, since you both always have good reasons for saying what you say

right now, i am just happy to enjoy the review that Amazon shared with us—so, we have the entire Deathly Hallows story, plus the first of the reviews….now, when to we get Rabbity Babbity?????

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Thanks, Leaky, that was amusing. :D

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its nice that amazon bought it i suppose….its just like i dont know…..its better then other people getting their hands on it, but i really wish it would have ended up in a fan’s hands…....i mean you know it will be taken well care of, and sure we have summaries, but granted i would rather read the entire thing myself or have a die hard fan own it…..

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personally, i think it’s ridiculous that she is doing this to her fans. doesn’t she know that we would like to read the story just as much as those people who can pay millions of dollars? its so unfair.

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Budb: Thank you for the chocolate idea…I think there are a few people who did need a little bit to get back to themselves again; not necessarily on this comment board, but on some of the other ones today. I had some too to make sure it wasn’t me, but in another comment board from yesterday I still was being verbally attacked by the same person today…what’s with everyone? Did anyone else notice how so many people today were biting each other’s head’s off? Is it holiday stress or something? I try to be respectful of everyone’s opinions and I realize we aren’t all going to see eye to eye on everything but I certainly do not condone going after someone and criticizing their opinions. Typically does not make for a positive argument or experience. Slightly off topic but just my feelings today :) Where is Celia and Slitheress when I need them, they were in my corner yesterday!!

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ImH…

Might just be the weather, or Friday?

There are some posters I’ve just learned to ignore, the ones that are just consistently negative regardless of the topic and dont appear to have read the books, seen the movies, or bothered to learn about the author at all. Makes you wonder why someone like that would bother coming to Leaky, huh? I just don’t believe in therapy through arguing.

Thankfully, there are other posters—you, ImH…, Mollywobbles, Roonwit, a fellow named Mars that is very good on copyright and publishing issues, Grace W—who i always read because you all have something wothwhile to say (there are others as well, just mentioning several here). We dont always agree, but I always feel that our conversations made me think. And, that is why I visit Leaky….

here, eat some chocolate. it helps ;-)

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Thank you Budb aren’t you sweet :) Mmm chocolate! I agree with you wholeheartedly. I too don’t believe in therapy through negative arguing (positive arguing i.e. debate in a respectful manner, is something different, and I think we all do that to a certain degree here).

I am honored that you would count me up there with, yourself of course, Roonwit, Mollywobbles, Grace W. and company- I haven’t been on Leaky for a considerable length of time, I am relatively new. I too read all of the frequent posters as I appreciate and value your thoughts and opinions. I suppose I haven’t had the pleasure of having to deal with the posters who should be ignored until just recently :) I will take up your advice!

Nice Lupin quote by the way! Have a good evening!

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“They probably get a whopping tax deduction, a TON of free publicity and people come to their site. That’s excellent marketing” I’m sorry but do you consider paying almsot 4M free publicity?

Avatar Image says: I LOVED the Fountain of Fair Fortune review. It gave away the ending…so don’t read the review if you are trying to remain unspoiled in the event of future publication…but I thought it was such PERFECT JK Rowling. Sigh…Avatar Image says:

Beth D, I particularly liked this insight in the review of Fountain:

“It is heartening to see Rowling continuing to embrace the themes of friendship and camaraderie so prevalent in her series, not to mention her ability to draw strong, intelligent, female characters. We spent seven books watching Harry learn that it is okay to need the help and support of his friends, and that same notion of sharing responsibility and burden is strong in this tale. “

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Will the HP fandom EVER stop being so whiny? Amazon didn’t have to do this at all, you know. They could have just hidden the book away. But no, who cares that they are generous enough to share, right? That’s just something ELSE for the fandom to act selfish about! If I was JKR, I would have cut this fandom off a long time ago.

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amgglekim, I went to Sotheby’s to get the catalogue. It’s ok, a few blurry or super close-up photos of the pages of the book and lots of interesting information about the charity. The cost of the catalgue goes to the charity to, so for that reason I’d say it was worth it.

And why are people complaining about what Amazon is doing? I don’t understand. I would have thought any HP fan would be thrilled to find out what was in the book rather than have it locked away in some possessive fan’s safe …

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omg!!!!!!i have been waiting and waiting for this book to come out and i wish that i could see it and then read “babbity rabbity” man i hope she puts out more soon.

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Why would Amazon put a “spoiler alert” if there was no intention of the fans ever reading the whole stories? Who would care if it was “spoiled” since they would never read it? This leads me to believe that it eventually will be published. Even publishing it would never devalue the handwritten copies since they are just that. It’s like handwritten sheet music by Beethoven…while it has been mass produced and everyone and their brother has access to it, the worth of the handwritten originals is simply astonishing. Why? Because it was actually lovingly poured over by their actual author’s own hands. No amount of publication can take that away from the physical originals.

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You do not need to actually reprint all or part of a book’s text to violate copyright laws. Plot summaries can, by themselves, be a copyright violation. The only way you get around the violation is to mix in the plot summary with some independent analysis. This is probably why Amazon is casting their work as a “review,” not a “summary” of the books. The legal issues are sufficiently fuzzy that Rowling could arguably sue about it, but she probably won’t because she probably likes what Amazon is doing.

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Just as pixie dust floats across the pages in the book, it leaves a forever trail across the universe. The amount each reader can absorb varies and it is repelled or devoured by every living creature in the world. It resonates in my being with reverence to the greatest thing of all – a well told story, published into a BOOK. I jiggle to know it exists.The value and care if its creation is now a material gift to a childrens charity on the one hand and even more on the untold open mystery hand. We are sharing just a sip of delight in drawings and handwriting pictures. Amazon deserves and preserves it just right. I am keeping my heart open for more and patiently waiting for what will be revealed. We shall see.

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