Little, Brown publisher discussed their thoughts on the author’s first post-Potter book:
“I expect the world to be ecstatic at the range of her imaginative reach,” predicts Rowling’s American publisher, Michael Pietsch. One of the few to have read the embargoed book, he calls Rowling “a genius, one of the great writers of all time.” Reading the 512-page novel, he says, “reminded me of Dickens because of the humanity, the humor, the social concerns, the intensely real characters.”
In addition to a public event held in New York City, as we previously reported, Rowling is scheduled to make television appearances on ABC’s Nightline, World News and Good Morning America, as well as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. She will also be participating in two print interviews, one of which is with USA Today.
The article then proceeds to talk about how the promotional approach for this book is considerably different from that of Harry Potter.
“I’ve been in the dark,” says bookseller Kathryn Fabiani, head buyer at R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Conn. “We had no posters … It hasn’t been easy. People are curious, but they don’t know what to expect.” The upcoming release “seems almost invisible.”
“We’ve been taking some pre-orders and we’ve got some activity, but nothing like Harry Potter,” she says. “Nothing.” Although she has ordered 300 copies for the independent bookstore, she suspects they won’t sell out.
As noted by Little, Brown’s marketing director Heather Fain, the difference in target audience for Rowling’s new book entails a more careful and subdued marketing approach.
Barnes & Noble vice president for marketing Patricia Bostelman says that Little, Brown’s approach is what the author wants. “Apparently much of their behavior is at J.K. Rowling’s wishes,” says Bostelman. Rowling “has very strong opinions on how she wants publishing of the book handled. … She’s trying not to live on the laurels of Harry Potter and very much wants to have this book stand alone, on its own merit, just as if she were just any other author who was landing on the scene.”
The Casual Vacancy will be released on September 27, with an initial print run in the US of two million. As with Harry Potter, no advance copies of the book will be available for the media to give early reviews.