Harry Potter and The Revolution of The Book Chain

The publishing world is littered with astoundingly great authors and stories. There are many great authors who have an impact on the book supply chain. The book supply chain is started by the author,who is on the bottom of the food chain,then  the agent is next in line, after that is publishing companies, next the printer distribution, and lastly the distributing warehouses. The book supply chain is a lot like a chocolate factory. A person first makes the batter, then places it on a sheet where it goes through a machine to be cooked, then wrapped up to be sold, and lastly sent out to distribution places. It may not be exactly like the book supply chain but it is similar.  If the author is at the bottom of the food chain, then why can they have such a drastic effect on the chain? In fact, an author that helped create such  a drastic change in the supply chain is J.K Rowling; the famous author of the book series Harry Potter. This series is a self proclaimed hit movie series, and is still read by thousands of readers. J.K Rowling is a perfect example of how the series plays a large part in surviving many changes in the supply chain. For such a popular book, there has to be a reason that the  book supply chain changes.J.K Rowling is a perfect example of how the book supply chain can change because of great content that helped develop a long lasting story, a great agent that left her side, and a good publishing company that assured the creation of a website which took over selling the Harry Potter eBook series.

The content and creation of the Harry Potter series reveals why it is published in so many languages, why it has had a profound effect in the publishing world as a book that was first  published in print, and then over-went a change into the eBook world.The series last four books made record number sales, and flew off shelves. In terms of creation, the story starts out as a boy who discovers he has magical powers while living in a place where he was treated as no less than scum.The creation of such a complex story-line takes time and genius really. It is one of the most accomplished story -lines of it’s time. The time period of publishing that the first Harry Potter book was released  was the year 1998. This year had phenomenal amounts of bestsellers like Holes by Louis Sachar, A clash of Kings ( Game of Thrones) by George R.R Martin, and  The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice which all came out during this year. It made the publishing market quite a battle for the new series Harry Potter to gain any standing in the literature world.Harry lived in a very crowded cubby underneath the stairs that was his bedroom. After uncovering that he has magical powers,there is a large change in his life.  He goes from being scum to becoming a hero that fights against the opposition of Lord Voldemort. By having a clear evil side where Lord Voldemort wants Harry dead because harry is directly connected to him through his scar on his forehead, an established enemy is created  for the  great book that lasted for seven books.

“ ‘The sorting hat only put me in Gryffindor,’said Harry in a defeated voice.’ Because I asked not to go into Slytherin..’ ‘Exactly,’ said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “ Which makes you very much different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices,Harry, that show what we truly are , far more than our abilities.’”( Mills, Agency)

This quote is important because it expresses the need to make decisions on your own. It drives into free will and story changing choices.A great example of good content from the story. “The risks for Rowling here are very high; only if her characters can be seen to chose- to take responsibility for their actions -whether the reader is shown or told the good can be distinguished from the bad.” ( Mills, Agency) This means that the the good and bad sides in the story have been established in such a way that the reader can figure out who is helping harry and who is not.Also,the reason the book has been published in so many languages is because it has so many great lessons of a boy coming of age into a world of magic. It is a unique story, and has gifted the world with such a tremendously special world that has so much to offer. Thus, It is no surprise that the first three of her books found their way onto the 1999 New York Times bestseller list creating a substantial amount of revenue for the publishing company that published her.

J.K Rowling enlisted the help of a  great agent who helped push her book to be published. Christopher little is the name of the agent that took her book under consideration to try and publish it. He stuck with the book till JK. Rowling decided to split after sixteen years of working together. His ability to help promote, and push the publishing world to tackle her book made him a fantastic choice.This agent helped in changing the book supply chain by taking J.K Rowling down as a client.“ He secured the Harry Potter scribe a six-figure book deal and transformed her into a literary superstar. Both made a fortune. “ (Harry Potter, 2) This agent did something amazing for her by making sure that she would be well taken care of as an author.It is good to have a close relationship with the author as an agent and Little did so. However, when J.K Rowling decided to make a site called pottermore her agent started to get angry because the site itself went against the legal deal that she had with him, and set the stepping stones for her deal with the Blair partnership. Neil Blair was a former business partner with Christopher Little , so her sudden choice to pair up with Blair became a slap in the face to Little.  “What is known is that they dealt mainly in printed books and films, whereas Mr Blair reportedly worked closely with Rowling over the creation of Pottermore.com.” ( Harry Potter 2) This means that Little was cut out of the creation of Pottermore and that it went against being a print book or a movie. The website is an online “game” allowing children to explore the Harry Potter universe.” ( Harry Potter, 4) Pottermore has a hold on the internet fans of the series, and this has a profound effect on the impact on the online publishing world of today. A site like pottermore allows children to be walked through each chapter of a book through an eye spy like game which adds points to the total that each house makes, and there are mini games where they can create potions, and battle each other in wizardry duels.A site like pottermore has astounded Harry Potter fans, and millions have subscribed to the site. In fact, Pottermore has changed the book supply chain because it has such a hold on the sales of the series Harry Potter. The site also includes a insider scoop of any new and upcoming projects that J.K Rowling is working on.

“By defining books as against technology, we deny our true selves, we deny the power of the book. Let’s restore to publishing its true reputation—not as a hedge against the future, not as a bulwark against radical change, not as a citadel amidst the barbarians, but rather as the future at hand, as the radical agent of change, as the barbarian.” ( What Is, 20)

This quote fits J.K Rowlings site because it is molding a book to the web, and allowing people to interact with the book while learning teamwork.The amazing part of pottermore is that it forced Amazon into a climb down due to the amount of Harry Potter ebooks not being bought on Amazon, but rather being bought on pottermore.

To achieve this the folk at Pottermore have released the ebooks without digital rights management, meaning that a customer can download one title on to eight different devices: or they can simply receive the basic ePub file, and do with it what they want, even side-loading it on to their Kobo devices. The ebooks will also become available to borrow from libraries – for free.” ( Harry,7)

This quote helps explain that pottermore is more than willing to disrupt the digital publishing world, and begin to publish their very own ebooks. A drastic move like this must have made Amazon realize that it could not gain any sales from the series, and instead pushed any searchers straight to pottermore.Pottermore took a more free approach to ebooks. It allows one buyer to buy a ebook and download it for free onto multiple forms. This is not something most ebook selling sites can achieve , nor do they wish to.

Further more; Bloomsbury publishing is an independent publishing company that picked up the first book of the Harry Potter series that instilled the world with a beautiful tale about an entirely new magical world. This was probably the best decision that the private publishing industry could have made. Bloomsbury publishing started during the year 1986 making it a seasoned player in the publishing world. It believed that as a company it would publish quality books en mass. However, the American part of Bloomsbury Publishing was not created till 1998.“The publishing company started as a genuine publisher for adult and children books.”(About Us, 1) A company that wishes to produce fiction books found a gem by a name of J.K Rowling.“Finally, in August 1996, Christopher phoned to tell me that Bloomsbury had made an offer.” (J.K Rowling, 2)Despite being turned down a lot her agent Christopher Little sent it in to Bloomsbury publishing in hopes that the book would be chosen to be published.In fact, she sent her first book  Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone to numerous publishing companies that all turned her book down for one reason or another because  the “publishing industry has no particular ability to discern what is good or not, what is successful or not.” (What is,1)Independent publishing companies can produce books that are major hits among the reading world but the company is gambling on the book to be good. . It also handled selling millions of copies of her book while being able to deal with an increase of buyers for the book. A traditional publisher that can handle this amount of publicity on a book has to be a decent company. If J.K Rowling went with a more famous publishing house would she have seen as many profits faster?  Most likely the profits may have came sooner and in larger chunks but with bloomsbury it was a perfect start.Most publishing companies use every resource to help produce a book. In J.K Rowlings case the company helped mass produce the book and have retailers in local bookstores sell it. J.K Rowling is the perfect example of an author that witnessed the digital age come to life. She can see how Amazon is selling her books versus how the books are being sold in major department stores and small bookstores. What also took the publishing industry by storm is her site Pottermore which sells the ebooks, and multiple types of merchandise to thousands of fans. The publishing company helped handle the 450 million copies of her book in print, and eventually ebooks up until pottermore was created..

In conclusion, J.K Rowling changed the book supply chain significantly because of  the idea of a single site holding more power over the purchasing of a book.The great content/ creation of this book has masterfully sparked children’s imaginations for years.  Another aspect to the change is her choice in a great agent. Christopher Little sat by her side during the entire making of the series. However, the minute pottermore was created Little was ditched. Lastly, A great publishing company helps create a ground for a book to be sold, and it must be able to handle the production or demand for the book.  The company must be able to send the book to multiple distribution places. Her site Pottermore changes the supply chain because it shows that an author can stray from the chain. But they may lose their most loyal agent in the process. Pottermore is run by Sony and it is a game site for fans of the book. This is the very first site made for the fans to interact with the ideas within the Harry Potter series. The first of it’s kind in the publishing world, agent world, and in terms of content. This changed the basic table of the book supply chain. It made people realize that even author’s can find interesting ways to promote their very own book.J.K Rowling is likely to side on the side of the ebook as technology increases in the world, and the demand for ebooks will continue for a long time making pottermore’s survival guaranteed. It is an original idea that may have cut the author’s tie with the original agent, but it made the cut worth it by how many people log onto the site, and play the interactive games on the site.

 

Works Cited

“About Us.” Bloomsbury –. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2015. <http://bloomsbury.com/us/company/about-us/>.

Cheng, Tania Su Li. “The Power Of Potter: Copyright Law And Its Influence On Sequels And Parodies.” Forum For Modern Language Studies 49.1 (2013): 1-19. Humanities International Complete. Web. 8 Jan. 2015.

Mills, Alice. “Harry Potter: Agency Or Addiction?.”Children’s Literature In Education 41.4 (2010): 291-301.Humanities International Complete. Web. 8 Jan. 2015.

“Harry Potter and the Furious Feud:Rowling Banishes Her Literary Agent.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2015. <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/harry-potter-and-the-furious-feud-rowling-banishes-her-literary-agent-2306257.html>.

“J.K. Rowling.” J.K. Rowling. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.jkrowling.com/en_GB/#/timeline/bloomsbury-publishing/>.

Rowling, J.K. “Pottermore: About Pottermore and the Pottermore Shop.”Pottermore: About Pottermore and the Pottermore Shop. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2015. <https://www.pottermore.com/en-us/about>

Jackson, Nicholas. “J.K. Rowling’s New Pottermore Site Will Change Digital Publishing.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 23 June 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/06/jk-rowlings-new-pottermore-site-will-change-digital-publishing/240927/&gt;

Jones, Phillip. http://www.theguardian.com. N.p., 28 Mar. 2012. Web. 02 Feb. 18. <http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2012/mar/28/pottermore-ebook-amazon-harry-potter

Ted Striphas. The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to ControlPublisher: Columbia University Press  (April 2009)Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/stri14814

Triska, Zoë. “JK Rowling’s Pottermore Breaks EBook Lockdown, Might Change EBooks Forever.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/pottermore_n_1383696.html&gt;

What Is the Business of Literature?” What Is the Business of Literature? N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.

 

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