July 22, 2005

Upside down Harry more expensive . . .


Less than 24 hours after going on sale in the UK and the US, the full text of the new Harry Potter book has been illegally posted on the Internet, according to a story from The Hollywood Reporter. It was posted on an electronic bulletin board affiliated with Tsinghua University, “one of China’s most prestigious research institutions,” says the report. It adds, “An electronic publishing expert said that with close cooperation and a digital camera it was possible for a team of people to get such a long book on to the Internet in one day.” An English language version of the book went on sale in China the same day as elsewhere. “Over the weekend, Beijing bookstores sold some 5,000 legitimate hardbound copies of the book for 178 yuan ($21.51) each,” says the report. Meanwhile, Rachel Deahl in a Book Standard story reports that some people in Canada have found defective copies of the book, where the pages are printed upside down. While the occasional misprinted book is to be expected of a sizeable print run of any book, there may have been more misprints than usual due to the huge print run of the Potter book: “Copies of Half-Blood whose pages are printed upside-down are selling for $60 and higher on eBay. The auction site also has listings for copies of book 6 with parts of the first chapter missing.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives