Dear all,

Harry Potter’s fans or anti-Harry Potter, here is the question!

Waiting for the last but not the least tome of the seven books from the Harry Potter story (an happy end or the death of our favourite hero?), the phenomenon Harry Potter cannot be ignored.

Indeed, the saga of the seven volumes printed since 1998 met an immediate success and created a demand and a revolution in the children’s books edition.

I selected this subject because I also like ready HP’s books as 40% of the readers who are adults.

LET US START WITH SOME FIGURES to show you an idea of the huge success HP:

-          300 millions of copies in the world for the six volumes

-          16 millions sold in France (19% of the total number of readers)

-          translation in 63 languages

-          about 3,500 pages for the six books – we can note that the number of pages increase from one book to another

-          more than 400 licensing items (4 billions USD)

-          the author J.K. Rowling is at the 9th rank of the richest women in the world, even before the Queen Elizabeth the Second – Her fortune is about 650 millions of euros.


Everybody can wonder what is the reason of this success. We can try to give you some explanations after reading a lot of articles, studies on this subject (references at the end of this summary):

-          A fairy tale associated to the author J.K. Rowling

The legend shows us a single mother with a little daughter getting benefits from the government. She studied French and was a teacher in half-part time. According to the tabloids, she wrote down the first volume near a radiator in a cafe in 1998.

After receiving refusals from publishers, she decided to find a litterary agent and selected in the yellow pages the famous Christopher Little, a kind of shark in publishing business. Thanks to him, she succeeded in selling her book to the publisher Bloomsburry.

When the first volume became a real success in Great Britain, he sold the spublishing right through Internet and an important US publisher bought the rights for USD 100,000.

From the USA, the phenomenon Harry potter conquered the entire world.

-          The content of the books themselves

The story was planned within 7 volumes from the beginning. The hero, HP, becomes older (1 year) from one book to another.

The action gives a real originality to the story as it is a learning novel mixing feelings, humour, suspense and everybody can recognize a part of his/her life.

The sources of inspiration are various: myths (witches) or other writers such as Tokkien.

-          The conquest of a large public

At the beginning, the serie was aimed to the children from 9 to 13 years old. It conquered quickly the parents, teachers, psychanalysts who refer to HP to treat kids.

This success leads to films and ten or dozen of licensing items.

We can regret that HP is now a commercial object, a brand but it seems to be the price of glory (!)

-          The marketing strategy

The narrator contributes to keep alive the success of HP because:

-          she keeps a lot of secrets related to the new published book

-          she does not want to give a lot of interviews so that maintain secrets

-          she pretends to have already written the end of the 7th volume since the beginning

Moreover, the publishers let the public wait and create a demand long months in advance.

-          The controversy of success

HP success has created jealousy and critics especially from the religious branch which qualified HP to be “an evil” inciting kids to witchcraft and lies.

Some people also found on J.K. Rowling’s story a critic on the nowadays’ society.

Others strongly critize the place granted to HP on the children’s reading and especially the derivative (licensing items) which is another way to attract more money but it is just the result of success. It was not the idea of the writer from the beginning.


What is your idea on this subject?

Have you already read HP’s books and what do you think about them?

For me, each book is a delight and this gives me the dream to write one day and to know the same success.

Links that helped me to write this summary:

Cheers! Ceraulen