Skip to Content

The Harry Potter effect

10 February 2003

The latest news from the world of children's publishing confirms the growing interest in writing for children (see our new children's editorial services). The recent announcement that J K Rowling's whopping new book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will be published in June has gladdened the hearts of booksellers everywhere. Not exactly surprising, as the Harry Potter books have now sold a breathtaking 192 million copies worldwide. First estimates of the likely print run for the new book are 12 million copies for the US alone.

But the Harry Potter effect, although not easily repeatable, has made publishers wonder what else they can publish for these millions of keen young readers. The answer is - a mass of fine children's writers producing innovative work, together with many more commercially-oriented authors who are also achieving terrific sales. The latest success story is Philip Ardagh, a British writer described as a cross between Monty Python and Dickens. His Eddie Dickens trilogy, the first book of which has been a bestseller for Faber in the UK, has been bought in the US by Henry Holt and Scholastic for a six-figure advance.