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July 16, 2007
harry pothead
Harry Pothead
Release of final Harry Potter Book one of biggest moments in modern publishing history
by Gulliver

It's the book event of the year and one of the biggest moments in modern publishing history. The final Harry Potter book - 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' - is being released at one minute after midnight on July 21.

The seventh and last book in the series, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the history of publishing. Publishers announced a record-breaking 12 million copies for the first print run in the U.S. alone.

The Harry Potter series of fantasy novels by English author J. K. Rowling have sold
more than 325 million copies and have been translated into more than 63 languages. They have made her the highest earning novelist in literary history.

Since the release in 1997 of the first novel, 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' (retitled 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' in the United States), the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide, spawning films, video games and assorted merchandise.

The Harry Potter story is mostly set at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a school for young wizards, 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.

The first five books have been made into 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 November 21 2008.

J.K. Rowling completed the manuscript of her first Harry Potter story, called "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in 1995, having written some of it in local cafes in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was a single mother drawing state benefits.

The tale came to her during a delayed train journey. "I 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."

The plots of all seven books were mapped out in her head before she began writing the first.

Amazingly the first book was rejected by no less than eight publishers - they must be kicking themselves now after making what is surely one of the greatest publishing mistakes in history.

Barry Cunningham, then of Bloomsbury publishers, signed up Rowling and the author and company never looked back. Rowling is the world's first billion-dollar author.

In the final Harry Potter book. Rowling has said she will kill off at least two characters, but has declined to specify who they are. The main speculation among readers is whether or not Harry will survive at the end.

Warner Bros. have distributed four Harry Potter movies so far, amassing a worldwide box office tally of around $3.5 billion. The fifth - 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - is in cinemas now.

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