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Scholastic Updates with New Interviews from Key Staff on "Bard," "Deathly Hallows," and More

Books
Posted by: sue
October 19, 2008, 01:35 AM

Scholastic, the US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, have updated their website with a host of interviews with key members of the staff responsible for bringing the Harry Potter books to the readers. Contained in the new interviews available here, is confirmation they are creating new anniversary editions for all of the Harry Potter books, new insight of the various processes used in creating the marketing and distribution of the books such as "Deathly Hallows," as well as an interesting tidbit regarding the amount of paper being used to print the upcoming "The Tales of Beedle the Bard."

Of particular note is the interview with David Saylor   (Creative Director for Hardcover books and the one who oversees the art direction used in these books) who provides several fascinating insights and new pieces of information on the art contained in the Scholastic editions. Mr. Saylor was responsible for hiring of artist Mary GrandPre and worked closely with her on all the Harry Potter novels. Noting they are indeed creating anniversary editions for each books, he revealed he was one of the few to read "Deathly Hallows" early and discussed his influence in choosing the various colors used in the cover art to reflect each of the novels (with detail provided on OotP and more).  Mr. Saylor also discussed his working relationship with Mary GrandPre when creating the special chapter art.

I've always had pretty clear ideas about what might be on the cover and what objects or characters might be perfect for the chapter openings. Happily, Mary and I are so attuned that we almost always agreed about what worked for the covers and chapter openers. I would list each chapter and give her a suggestion of what I thought she could portray, along with a few alternate ideas. She mostly went with those suggestions, but sometimes she would let me know if a particular idea wasn't going to make a great illustration. Then Mary would come up with a different solution.

Other key points from the various interviews include:

From Francine Colaneri, VP Manufacturing and Corporate Purchasing, when speaking on the amount of paper purchased to print the books, came an insight on the amount of paper being used for the books: "The Tales of Beedle the Bard requires 2,222,000 pounds; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows required 15 times as much paper."

Rachel Coun, Director of Marketing for Trade Hardcover books and the Harry Potter Brand director, reflected on the release parties of the past, including crediting our favorite author for the best idea for marketing a Harry Potter book, as she said: "The most brilliant idea came from Jo Rowling. For Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Jo wanted to make sure that every fan had the opportunity to read the book at the same time. A strict on-sale date was established. This date is what led to the "Midnight Parties" and the unified celebration worldwide."

Mark Seidenfeld, attorney for Scholastic, said that he has in the past visited the online fan sites and elaborated on the experience with: "Unfortunately, most of the time when I'm going on a fan site it's to check out a problem or see the reaction to a problem. So it's usually not in the most pleasant context that I'm checking them out. But I am always taken by the intensity and passion of the fans and their obsessively detailed knowledge of the series. It's truly amazing that one author has created such a craze!"

Kris Moran, Publicity Director, reflected on working with Harry Potter J.K. Rowling over the years, and the changes that took place along the way. Kris spoke of one of her favorite publicity moment with Jo by relaying "...it was the first book signing we went to on the tour for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in October of 1999. We pulled up to a bookstore and the line had to have been three blocks long. As we drove up, Jo asked me, in all seriousness, what was going on — was there some huge sale? I said "It's you" and she turned white. We got out of the car, and kids were chanting her name and "Harry Potter" — it literally was like touring with a rock star."

On a related note, you can read more from Kris Moran and Mark Seidenfeld, via the Harry, A History book website in the Vault 27 section where our own Melissa Anelli discussed spoilers with the team.

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17 Comments

hallows7

Thats alot of paper. The paper went to a good cause the Harry Potter. If it wert for paper we be all dome.
This info is interesting in they way we can see it from behind the scens of Makeing the HP Books.

Posted by hallows7 on October 19, 2008, 03:00 AM report to moderator
Sylvie

Whooaaa lots of paper- and lots of trees. KEEP PLANTING THE TREES PEOPLE.

Posted by Sylvie on October 19, 2008, 03:13 AM report to moderator
burningpumpkins

Anniversary Editions?

Posted by burningpumpkins on October 19, 2008, 04:12 AM report to moderator
Corey

Wow, I had no idea that Molly Weasley’s signature was Rosie O’Donnell’s!

Posted by Corey on October 19, 2008, 04:54 AM report to moderator
Raymond

I find this article very entertaining, and for those of us who are curious on the making of the books, we get some answers!

burningpumpkins: watch your wording on Leaky. There are many kids that visit Leaky every day. Leaky is very family-friendly. If we don’t have something nice to say on Leaky, or any other fan sites for that matter, we have to watch our wording. I appreciate that the fan sites are very family-friendly, as Harry Potter is, so we have to respect that and watch our wording on the fan sites. Take no offense burningpumpkins, just watch your wording. My intent is not to make you edit burningpumpkins comment, Leaky, I just appreciate that the fan sites try their hardest to make their sites family-friendly, just like Harry Potter is.

Posted by Raymond on October 19, 2008, 04:55 AM report to moderator
Martyn P

Since when did Beedle become Beetle? I understand you’re just quoting directly, but why can’t people get it right?

Posted by Martyn P on October 19, 2008, 08:44 AM report to moderator
Prenz

Interesting. I loved this little “going-behind-the-scenes” sneak peek!

Posted by Prenz on October 19, 2008, 10:19 AM report to moderator
Confederate Lady

WOW. Lots of paper. Lots of ink. Lots of good works. Put into perspective, folks, the amount of paper it takes each year, to print an edition of The Physicians Desk Reference [PDR] That, too, is a LOT of paper…per year! That particulary book has been printed every year for the last 50. Anyway, I’ m so excited about Melissa’s Book and ‘Beadle The Bard’ AND the Anniversary Editions…..I think that the Anniversary Editions will be a nice addition to ANY collection. Thank you Scholastic, Leaky and especially our own JKR. Without her, we would not be here, and our children’s children’s children would not be able to experiance the wonder that is ‘Harry Potter’.

Posted by Confederate Lady on October 19, 2008, 12:36 PM report to moderator
TarsieS

See, I laugh when people get all yantzy about anniversary editions etc. My first fandom, back in the early 70’s, was Tolkien. I had this thing about owning every single different cover version that was out there – needless to say, yes I do still own many of those editions – some are for reading, some are for saying “I’ve got it” and others are just for show.

So, it’s not too far-fetched to say that there will be people out there who will love to have the anniversary editions. Will they sell as many? Probably not, but who cares. It’s something special, and for those who have the money to splurge, I say – go for it!

Personally, I can’t wait for Beadle and Melissa’s book – although, if I was to buy another full set of HP, it would be the british editions. Something about reading it in the original… with all the correct idioms.

Posted by TarsieS on October 19, 2008, 01:22 PM report to moderator
lionpaws

I really want to collect all the anniversary editions!

Posted by lionpaws on October 19, 2008, 04:14 PM report to moderator
roonwit

If Beedle has 128 pages and DH has 784 and the latter takes 15 times as much paper, does this mean they are only printing 2/5th the number of copies, because that sounds like a lot of copies for Beedle.

Posted by roonwit on October 19, 2008, 04:15 PM report to moderator
Geek Squared 1307

My favorite part was when Ed Swart responded to the question “What’s the next book you think will even come close to Harry Potter in terms of sales?” with “J. K. Rowling hasn’t written it yet!” That was so hilarious.

I agree with TarsieS. If I decided to buy the whole set of books again, I’d buy the British editions.

It was really interesting to read that the signatures of the different characters were actually done by various celebrities and people involved with the books. I had always wondered how they made the signatures and had thought that they were just special fonts.

I can’t wait for “Harry, A History” and “Tales of Beedle the Bard.”

Thanks for posting this!

Mischief managed.

Posted by Geek Squared 1307 on October 26, 2008, 01:04 AM report to moderator
Yigdal

Все просто и понятно…что ничего не ясно.

Posted by Yigdal on November 17, 2008, 10:28 PM report to moderator
Sumati

мда, с последней строчкой не согласен ))

Posted by Sumati on November 20, 2008, 12:43 AM report to moderator
Mariuszek

что-то у тебя разъезжается все в сафари…

Posted by Mariuszek on November 30, 2008, 07:37 PM report to moderator
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