Saturday, December 15, 2007

Amazon Spends $4 Million for Rowling Book

I suppose that the real question is not why would spend roughly $4 million on a J.K. Rowling book but whether or not the company will actually get $4 million worth of publicity and increased customer loyalty from Potter/Rowling fans as a result of having done so. As an Amazon stockholder, this certainly doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling about the business sense of those in charge there. I'm hoping that I'm wrong and that Amazon management is correct, but this kind of thing always smells of money squandered to me. has some of the details:
Author J.K. Rowling created the work, "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," after finishing the seventh and final installment of the "Potter" books, which have sold nearly 400 million copies and been translated into 64 languages.

The book bought by Amazon is one of seven handmade copies, extensively illustrated by Rowling and bound in brown Moroccan leather. It was expected to sell for about $100,000.

Amazon spokesman Craig Berman said Amazon wants to take the book on tour to libraries and schools, though the company doesn't yet have detailed plans. Amazon representatives did not disclose where the book is being stored.
"Purchasing this book with the proceeds going to charity does, in a real tangible way, say thank you to J.K. Rowling for what she's done for readers around the world," Berman said.

Rowling said she'd donate the proceeds to The Children's Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe.
Amazon has created a special link to show off the book and has even created editorial reviews for some of its stories, with others to follow soon. There are some spectacular pictures of the book showing what a beautiful production it is and the remarkable job that Rowling did in writing it by hand and illustrating it. But $4 million for a a book that is likely to decrease drastically in value over the years? I don't think so.


  1. Decrease in value? Well, probably. Book collecting is a capricious thing.

    4 million bucks? let's see if their rates go up.

  2. J.K. Rowling is a capricious thing. I rather like her movies of Harry Potter but not her books.

  3. Carrie, I'm positive that the Potter books will drop in value over the next few years now that the hysteria is finally ending despite Rowling's efforts to keep the buzz going.

    I think it was a terrible business decision, though great for the charity involved. Amazon has not been known for turning a real profit over the years and this certainly won't help it do so.

  4. Book Calendar, I'm not a real fan of either, but I have been continually fascinated by the tremendous marketing techniques used to move the books...brilliant.

  5. I have never got read any of the books, but anything that encourages kids to actually sit down with a book and READ it has got to be positive news imo.

  6. Nick, according to everything I've read lately, kids have returned to their cartoons and video games in droves and the Potter effect is turning out to be extremely short-lived.