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Question Title Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels by English author J. K. Rowling about an adolescent boy named Harry Potter. The story is mostly set at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a school for young wizards and witches, and focuses on Harry Potter's fight against the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents as part of his plan to take over the wizarding world.
 
Hogwarts School
Hogwarts school, as depicted in the first film.
 
 
Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States) in 1997, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide, spawning films, video games and assorted merchandise. The six books published to date have collectively sold more than 325 million copies and have been translated into more than 63 languages. The seventh and last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is scheduled to be released on 21 July 2007. Publishers announced a record-breaking 12 million copies for the first print run in the U.S. alone.

J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
Philosopher's Stone book(1997) film(2001) game(2001) soundtrack(2001)
Chamber of Secrets book(1998) film(2002) game(2002) soundtrack(2002)
Prisoner of Azkaban book(1999) film(2004) game(2004) soundtrack(2004)
Goblet of Fire book(2000) film(2005) game(2005) soundtrack(2005)
Order of the Phoenix book(2003) film(2007) game(2007) soundtrack(2007)
Half-Blood Prince book(2005) film(2008)    
Deathly Hallows book(2007) film(TBA)    

The success of the novels has made Rowling the highest earning novelist in literary history. English language versions of the books are published by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Scholastic Press in the United States, Allen & Unwin in Australia and Raincoast Books in Canada.

The first five books have been made into highly successful motion pictures by Warner Bros. The sixth, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is set to begin filming in September 2007, and has a scheduled release of 21 November 2008.
 
Origins and publishing history
 
In 1990, J. K. Rowling was on a crowded train from Manchester to London when the idea for Harry simply popped into her head.
 
Rowling gives an account of the experience on her website saying:
 
I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before. I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train) hours, and all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me.
Harry Potter
 
 
In 1995, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was completed and the manuscript was sent off to prospective agents. The second agent she tried, Christopher Little, offered to represent her and sent the manuscript to Bloomsbury. After eight other publishers had rejected Philosopher's Stone, Bloomsbury offered Rowling a £3,000 advance for its publication.
 
Despite Rowling's statement that she did not have any particular age group in mind when she began to write the Harry Potter books, the publishers initially targeted them at children age nine to eleven. On the eve of publishing, Joanne Rowling was asked by her publishers to adopt a more gender-neutral pen name, in order to appeal to the male members of this age group, fearing that they would not be interested in reading a novel they knew to be written by a woman. She elected to use J. K. Rowling (Joanne Kathleen Rowling), using her grandmother's name as her second name, because she has no middle name.
 
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Cover of the first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
 
 
The first Harry Potter book was published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury in July 1997 and in the United States by Scholastic in September of 1998, but not before Rowling had received $105,000 for the American rights – an unprecedented amount for a children's book by an unknown author. Fearing that American readers would either not understand the word "philosopher" or not associate it with a magical theme (as a Philosopher's Stone is alchemy-related), Scholastic insisted that the book be given the title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the American market.
 
Word-of-mouth buzz, especially amongst young males, has been even more important than positive media reviews and Rowling's publishers' marketing strategies in the tremendous success of the series. This is notable because for years, interest in literature among this group had lagged behind other pursuits like video games and the Internet. Rowling's publishers were able to capitalise on this buzz by the rapid, successive releases of the first four books that allowed neither Rowling's audience's excitement nor interest to wane while she took a break from writing between the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire  and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and also quickly solidified a loyal readership. The series has also gathered adult fans, leading to two editions of each Harry Potter book being released (in Canada and the United Kingdom, not the United States), identical in text but with one edition's cover artwork aimed at children and the other aimed at adults.
 
 
Article Source : Harry Potter
Authored by: Rahul Bhanot This question has been viewed 32138 times so far.
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Article Number: 37
Created: 2007-07-16 1:22 PM
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