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Harry Potter Inspiration

P Harry Potter

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Last weekend we took the kids to the Ontario Science Centre to learn some science and, of course, see the Harry Potter exhibit. It was fun to see the artifacts from JK Rowling‘s world as imagined through the movies. There are a number of lessons to be learned from the Harry Potter phenomenon. Here’s what I take from it:

1. Write a great book and it will find its way to the marketplace, no matter the naysayers.

2. A book that’s categorized as Young Adult (YA) can be enjoyed by many age groups. People who read Harry Potter are of varying ages. Some people, like the agents and editors who turned down the opportunity to publish the series, thought that was a problem. (Ha! Ha! Ha!) The Twilight series is proving books don’t have to be so shelf-specific, too. It’s an obstacle by way of rule of thumb that all cross-genre books face. Scott Sigler had a hard time getting his books published until he provedthe publishing industry was acting in a way so narrow-minded they might have bowling alleys for brains.

3. A good book, or a good bunch of books, is only helped by controversy. Censors have never learned that the more they worry about young minds being corrupted–and complain about it in the media–the more books they will sell for the author.

4. When you have a great success, haters will emerge. Worse, someone may even come out from under a rock to try to sue you for copyright infringement. Wipe the tears away with fifty dollar bills.

5. JK Rowling’s success is an inspiration to all of us who toil alone at keyboards (as yet unheralded.) When the last Harry Potter book sold, I was at the midnight sale at my local Chapters. I didn’t come to buy that night, though it was fun to see all the wizard and witches dressing up for the event. I came to sit at a table at Starbucks, sip a coffee and watch and feel the genuine excitement over the release of a book.

We don’t often get excited about books and I know there are many distractions. But that–okay, I’ll say it–that magical night was a reminder that there are still plenty of us who love the written word. We love it so much. We really do.

Filed under: Books, publishing, Rejection, Writers, , , ,

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