Opinion Article on Book 7 Release Date
Now that the title of Book 7 has been released - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- the big question on Potter fans minds is, when are we actually going to be able to read this thing?!
July 7th, 2007 (7-7-07) has been a popular date among readers for several reasons: its the seventh book in the Harry Potter series, seven is "the most powerfully magical number" (Tom Riddle, in HBP), its Harrys seventh year at Hogwarts, and Lord Voldemort has a seven-part soul. However, we find this date implausible for two reasons:
It is too close to the release of the fifth movie (July 13th, 2007): press events and premieres for the book and movie would cause chaotic promotional overlap between the book publishers and movie producers. Both WB and the publishers will want to space out the releases as much as possible in order to generate more hype and, in the process, revenue.
Secondly, it falls on the second anniversary of the July 7th London bombings. We dont believe JK Rowling, being British, would like to release her final book on such an important day.
Since the release of Half-Blood Prince, Jo has made numerous comments pertaining to the books progress. However, none of these have given us any solid clues about the books release, or indicated that the book was nearly complete. Until now.
JKRowling.com diary update, December 19th, 2006:
The long lack of updates has been due to some very hard work. I'm now writing scenes that have been planned, in some cases, for a dozen years or even more. I don't think anyone who has not been in a similar situation can possibly know how this feels: I am alternately elated and overwrought. I both want, and don't want, to finish this book (don't worry, I will.)
The fact that she's writing these scenes we believe indicates that shes writing the final scenes of the book. JK Rowling planned the Harry Potter series for a long time before beginning to pen it properly. Therefore, from the beginning (a dozen years or even more ago) she would have charted how the story would begin, progress, and end. Of course, she probably knew some plot details would change appropriately along the way but the general premise would remain intact. On top of that, weve been hearing nothing but good news of the books progress lately, so an educated guess would entail her almost being finished.
We do expect the book will be published in 2007. Allowing approximately six months for editing, marketing, promotion, printing, and everything else involved in the publication of a book, and assuming that Jo will have completed the novel by spring, our best guess is we're looking at a late summer 2007 release, or perhaps later, in the fall.
The specific date who knows? Perhaps it will bear no significance to anything in the books, but a possible date further away from the fifth movie premiere is July 31st: both Harry's and Jos birthday. But it is still awfully close to July 13th. September 1st is another likely date, considering how it is the first day of school for Hogwarts students (it also falls on a Friday and Jo has said she wouldn't want the release to interrupt school time).
Additionally, several readers have suggested October 31st, Halloween, as a probably release because it is a significant time in the books (Halloween, the night James and Lily died; not to mention, the word "Hallows" as the title of the book - "All Hallow's Eve" or Halloween). However, Halloween is a busy night and we doubt the publishers would think it wise to release Book 7 on a night where people may be preoccupied elsewhere (parties, etc.) - remember that a large portion of the Potter audience is adult. It also falls on a Wednesday and thus may interrupt school time.
We believe it is more likely that the date will be chosen by the publishers for strategic reasons not specifically having to do with the story.
Ultimately, Jo is still writing the book, and we know shes determined to make it the best it can be. Whether it comes out next year or in five years doesnt matter (well, maybe a little) - what's really important is that the finished product is friggin' sweet. Right now our message to Jo is, thank you for the wonderful Christmas present, and, in the words of the immortal Joe Dirte: "keep on keepin' on."
If you have any thoughts or comments on this opinion piece, please select Ciaran on the feedback form and let us know what you think.
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