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That HP blurb at Mugglenet - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
That HP blurb at Mugglenet
Okay. MuggleNet has reported

A MuggleNet reader who is the librarian at her daughter's school today received a copy of the "Publishers Quality Library Service" catalog. She said there is an ad in it for pre-ordering copies of Book 6 that says: "With something huge revealed about Lily Potter, the truth about why Dumbledore trusts Snape, and a little romance for Harry, this promises to be one of his best years at Hogwarts yet."

First, while I find nothing improbable (or especially probable) in the blurb--I'm not going to scour through interviews to see if JKR contradicted anything several years ago, because honestly, she might have changed her mind--I also find it highly unlikely that it is from any official source, for one very simple reason: It's reported in a print source.

There is a lag time on print sources, so any release from Scholastic or Bloomsbury would have had to be written and released into general circulation weeks ago. That's how it works--publishers send out press releases on books, and that's where official stuff comes from.

But this blurb does not appear on JKR's site, it doesn't appear on Scholastic's site, and it doesn't appear on Bloomsbury's site, all of which have some variation of the text on Bloomsbury's site, which is the same that appears on amazon.com and bn.com. If an official new blurb had been released, it would have hit the electronic sources first, particularly at Bloomsbury and Scholastic, which would have been where it would have originated--they'd probably upload it at the same time they were sending it to catalogs, though I don't know that for a fact. This is simply because updating an electronic source is much less of a hassle than updating and re-editing a print source; a new piece of information given to Amazon could appear immediately, while something for a printed catalog would have to wait for the next edition. If there were a lag, though, it would go in the other direction--they'd put it up and then release it to the catalog publishers. After those two sites, I'd expect it to go up on online ordering sources, both mass market (amazon, bn) and professional niche markets like Baker and Taylor's TitleSource or wherever. Then, several weeks after the blurb had been released, it would appear in print catalogs that had gotten it on time for their deadlines.

A blurb is a marketing tool, and it would be controlled by the publishers. When it's released into the wild, I'm sure it will be with much fanfare--it's not, after all, a spoiler... if it were, it wouldn't be released. (And no, "Something big about Lily" is not a spoiler. A spoiler would be, "And Harry learns that his mother was a space alien who was dropped off at Hogwarts after time travelling with Captain Kirk.") So it's not a question of them trying to keep it under wraps... there's no economic interest in doing so, as far as I can tell.

I think what we've caught here is just a space-filler description.
12 comments or Leave a comment
author_by_night From: author_by_night Date: February 28th, 2005 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
To tell you the truth, those exact same things were said about book five, and possibly book four, too. So... yeah. It seems more likely this girl copied a handful of rumors and then went to MN.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 28th, 2005 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
It sounds like the catalog did more than the person reporting it.
From: laizeohbeets Date: February 28th, 2005 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
JKR said, honestly, that book 6 would "have a little romance for Harry."

Now, the other stuff, I believe, has been cut and paste from some other interviews.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 28th, 2005 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the question wasn't whether or not she'd said that, just whether or not it's a "real" blurb for the book, released by the publishers as official info.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 28th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know about Bloomsbury but, honestly, the Scholastic site is lucky to know they've printed anything with Harry Potter in the title. I was checking for information on a new book of theirs, Nix's Drowned Wednesday. As of a couple days ago, their site only listed the first two books - no title, much less any blurb, for the third book - which came out on the FIFTEENTH. It's ALWAYS like that on their site (or so it seems to me, a slightly obsessed with finding publication information type person).

So, I could see this coming from an official source. I'm not holding my breath. I checked on the site of the catalog mentioned and couldn't find anything beyond Order of the Phoenix listed (their winter catalog, the quote would be from their spring catalog).

Of course, they might lag behind, too. There are others (TOR comes to mind) who always seem to be lagging behind on their news section.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 28th, 2005 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Except that a blurb is a release written by the publicity people at the company, not a news thing, not a sales thing. It would go to company sources first. Think about it--let's say I have something I want to put out into fandom. I write it and send it to my various places. I have the password to this journal and to my homepage, so that's where it goes first, because everyone else has to go through another handler before it hits the page.

Like JKR has said a million times, nothing that doesn't come from her or from her publishers is official.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 28th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, Mugglenet now has an update saying the blurb is wrong :-( I was hoping . . . .

But what I meant was that Scholastic doesn't have the blurb and information you can find on Amazon and B&N (not to mention other sites) and their site is always behind for information they have apparently released through other sources. I could easily believe them giving a blurb to one catalog and forgetting to give it to any others.

But such is not the case. Alas.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 28th, 2005 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Scholastic has the blurb from Amazon. I found it the other day while I was looking for this responding to angua's post.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 28th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course, now I can't find it or remember how I got to it!
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 1st, 2005 04:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I meant as a general rule. I've gone into their site looking for information on books I KNOW they're publishing and come up empty. It's a pet peeve. But, for example here's their Keys to the Kingdom site, http://www.scholastic.com/titles/keys/books.htm. You will notice no mention of the third book (or there wasn't when I was typing this). I wound up checking their when BN.com and Amazon.com had conflicting dates and some people wanted a confirmation as to which one was right. Like I said, pet peeve; but it made it seem credible that they might have released information to one source early without meaning to. Or at least credible enough that I could hope.
moonlinnet From: moonlinnet Date: February 28th, 2005 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
This is Pineapple Queen from SQ here...I hope you don't mind if I friend you!

Agreeing with author_by_night here: that's what they said for book five. And since there's nothing about in on JK's website or anywhere else official, I doubt it's been said.
eir_de_scania From: eir_de_scania Date: March 1st, 2005 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the best years at Hogwarts? For Harry?? JKR has clearly stated that everything is going to be worse, and more people killed. As for the little romance...JKR said something along the lines of "what's life without a little romance".

I don't believe in *anything* not published at her website and her publishers sites...
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