EESE 1/2009



     The Marketing of
     Global Harry Potter

     Susanne Schmid (Berlin)



After a book launch that was entirely unremarkable in comparison with the pre-publication campaigns surrounding bestsellers like Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code (2003), Pottermania began with word-of-mouth recommendations but was soaring sky-high within a few years, forging together a huge and international community of fans. The Harry Potter series has been one of the most staggering success stories on the international book market: Over 400 million copies have been sold world-wide, the novels, which have won numerous awards, have been translated into 67 languages, and J. K. Rowling, the Cinderella who rose from rags to riches, is wealthier than the Queen.1 Beginning with the publication of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the launch of every new Potter book was monitored by the international press, while the author carefully distributed informational appetisers from a story kept strictly secret, and booksellers were preparing midnight parties for world-wide simultaneously released English-language editions.2 If the outstanding success of the teenage sorcerer starts with a series of books, Harry Potter is also a global marketing and multi-media phenomenon happening on screen as well as online,3 and therefore this article will explore the Potter craze by considering not so much literary quality but everything else that is sold. Although Potter's sales figures are unique, Pottermania nevertheless highlights new trends on an increasingly global entertainment market.

This article will ask what it means for a book to be globally available. It will (1) briefly consider the literary appeal of the books and (2) explain how they proliferate and sell a rather traditional and localised image of Britain to an international audience. Since the books' global availability rests on elaborate acts of cultural adaptation, the tales have been (3) "Americanised" for US readers and (4) translated into foreign languages and cultures in authorised (and unauthorised) versions, have even fallen prey to illegal imitations. (5) A huge marketing machine, only possible because, in a so-called process of "convergence,"4 small independent publishing houses have been superseded by transnational media conglomerates since the 1960s, tempts readers to turn consumers by offering promotional material, DVDs, merchandise, and computer games. (6) In addition, online fan communities, which are sometimes close to infringements on copyright and undermine our notion of authorship, have become vital to the spread of the brand "Potter." Therefore, it is adequate to pose the question (7) whether the Potter books are not in danger of becoming everyone's "McDonaldized" cultural commodities.

(1) The Spell Cast by the Books

The Harry Potter craze started in the late 1990s and at a time when parents and teachers were increasingly worried about declining reading standards among children and young adults, who devoted more leisure time to computer games and online communication than to books. However, the arrival of Rowling's series, which has topped bestseller lists on an international scale and in an unprecedented manner, has proved that children and young adults can feel passionate about long books. What factors contribute to the "rise and rise of Harry Potter,"5 as Nicholas Tucker called the phenomenon of Pottermania in an ironic allusion to the dreaded comeback of Potter's vile arch-enemy Voldemort? Why is Harry Potter such a powerful bestseller, consumed by children and adults alike? After all, most good reads do not make the bestseller list. The literary success of the Potter books is based on several factors: the ordinary-yet-unique hero, Rowling's skilful use of the popular tradition of the boarding school story, the traditional narration geared towards suspense, and the prevailing fashion of fantasy books and films with a rich cultural background, which have become intellectual convenience food for all age groups.

Like Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter is normal to the very core of his being. He may be unique as a hero but exudes no extraordinary attraction, on the contrary: Harry's major appeal lies in his being an "Everychild,"6 whose NHS-style glasses alone convey an impression of ordinariness, intensified by the docile appearance of actor Daniel Radcliffe. Likewise, the cover illustration of Bloomsbury's British edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone establishes Harry as a middle-of-the-road character, who, however, in the course of Rowling's growing-up story discovers that he is different from everyone around him through being a wizard and that, even by magical standards, he is unique through having survived an attack by the evil wizard Voldemort, who had orphaned him.7 In the magical world that Harry enters, he receives recognition but nevertheless remains one of the many while being at Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft, where true friendship and companionship exist as an alternative to the joyless and stressful family life with his uncomprehending "Muggle" relatives.

The initial appeal of the series is based on Rowling's skilful reworking of the genre of the boarding-school story. This popular British tradition has one root in the mid-nineteenth century reform of these schools, which inspired a literary fashion: Thomas Hughes's bestselling Tom Brown's Schooldays (1857) established a code of behaviour for the boarding school boy: chivalric masculinity, an implicit Christian system of values, excellence at games.8 It is remarkable that this type of writing has always been most popular among those who never attended such socially exclusive schools9 but are fascinated by the vision of a child-run community. Stock elements of these tales are the interaction between the pupils (friendships, rivalries), classroom episodes, games, and secret activities (midnight parties), all of which reappear in Harry Potter, where the academic year typically structures the plot. Other popular examples of this genre are Frederic W. Farrar's Eric, or, Little by Little (1858), Rudyard Kipling's Stalky & Co. (1899), P. G. Wodehouse's Mike (1909), Enid Blyton's St. Clare's (1941-45) and Malory Towers (1946-51). The latter two series, aimed at girls, have attracted criticism for their restricted vocabulary, schematic characters, and black-and-white representations of outsiders, yet they have contributed to making the genre well-known outside Britain, especially in Germany, where the St. Clare books run under the title Hanni und Nanni.10 The Potter books show elements of Blyton's other successful series for children, too: As in The Famous Five (1942-63) and The Secret Seven (1949-63), Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger solve mysteries and manage dangerous situations.

Much of the magic lies in the story-telling. Harry Potter, resistant to the rise of theory, is no postmodern tale, rather a Dickensian narrative knit together with traditional, nineteenth-century techniques, especially when it comes to plot, character, and setting.11 Descriptions of places in the magical world like the candy-shop Honeydukes but also of the Dursleys' bourgeois rituals of normality abound with the minute details one would expect in a nineteenth-century realist novel. The story is anti-postmodern to the core in presenting a coherent grand récit with a complex temporal scheme. Lose narrative ends are avoided; nothing is left unexplained. Over the seven volumes, which tell a linear story, the personal adventure of an orphan boy evolves into an epic of the magical world, a grand fight between good and evil in ever-widening contexts. If Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone focuses on Harry and his friends in their first year at Hogwarts, the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, devotes much more space to the magical community at large, for example through the detailed description of the Quidditch World Cup or of the two visiting schools of witchcraft. The flourishing fan websites prove that many Harry Potter fans draw their in-depth knowledge from frequent contacts with the books, which invite circular and addictive reading: The last details of the prehistory, the events leading up to the beginning of the first volume (the depositing of baby Harry on the Dursleys' doorsteps in 1981 and Harry's admission to Hogwarts in 1991) only become obvious at the very end of the seventh sequel, set in 1998. For example, Aunt Petunia's indifference towards Harry, openly displayed in the episodes set in the satirically described Dursleys' family home on Privet Drive, stems from the emotional trauma she suffered as a child when, unlike her magically much more gifted sister Lily, she failed to be admitted to Hogwarts, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows explains. Another example is the Potions Master Snape's extreme dislike of Harry, which receives its explanation in the last three books: Harry's mother Lily, who lived in Snape's Muggle vicinity, is his childhood love to whom he committed himself emotionally so much that they even share the same protective Patronus. Or: Although the Dursleys hate the wizard boy passionately, they keep him in their home. Only at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the reader informed that after the death of Harry's parents, Albus Dumbledore had woven a spell around Aunt Petunia to protect the boy from dark magic through a bond only available through a blood relative. This revelation of pre-histories also happens on a large scale that concerns the entire magical community: Many friendships and rivalries of the seven books that cover Harry's Hogwarts years (1991 to 1998) originate in Voldemort's previous rise and fall in the period leading up to 1981, and it is this prehistory which appears in ever more graphic detail as the series progresses. After the last pages of the last volume, the reader can return to the first volume, finally aware of the hidden antagonisms that move the story. Rowling keeps her fans reading through a plot increasingly geared towards suspense, garnished with skilfully staged leaking of vital information. While still working on the fourth sequel, Rowling announced the death of one major character,12 thus heightening the pre-publication suspense and inspiring discussions among online communities, which have been central to the success of the series, in terms of reputation and of finance.

Pottermania has yet another root: The rich layer of fantasy elements places Harry Potter alongside other fantasy bestsellers such as Philip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials (1995-2000) and the film The Golden Compass (2007), J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (1954-55; films 2001, 2002, 2003), C. S. Lewis's Christian fantasy, especially The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-56), and the films The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) as well as Prince Caspian (2008). A number of British fantasy books have become box office hits. Pullman's and Lewis's books, like Rowling's, were originally aimed at children and/or teenagers but have attracted broader adult audiences as well because they address moral, political, even environmental issues and can be read as epics and histories.13 In addition, they appeal to the postmodern reader through the use of allusion and intertextuality. If Pullman's trilogy draws heavily on John Milton and William Blake,14 the Potter series, too, contains numerous cultural allusions. Many names carry additional meanings (Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort, Minerva McGonagall); Filch's snooping cat, Mrs Norris, is a character out of Mansfield Park; the Basilisk, the phoenix, and the centaurs are mythic creatures. Latin is used for the spells. The adult reader, able to unravel such allusions, is allowed a glimpse behind the scenes, participates in popular as well as high culture, and thus acquires "symbolic capital" in the sense of Pierre Bourdieu.15 In an analysis of Dan Brown's popular bestseller The Da Vinci Code, Kent Drummond explains that the book's attraction for the educated reader lies in the cultural allusions to Renaissance painting, iconography, and European history, about which the reader can accumulate and display knowledge.16 As intellectual convenience food, such bestsellers provide the pleasures of high culture without asking the reader for too much hard work. In the Potter books, this process is taken one step further when the craze for "educational" fantasy is marketed in addition to yet another commodity, namely Britishness.

(2) Britishness: A Magic Brand

In the marketing of the Potter books, the persona of the author as well as the films, a commodification takes place: What is sold is an image of Britain as a brand and of Britishness,17 a set of local values and images that are marketed on a global scale. To commence with the author: Sean Smith's biography of J. K. Rowling emphasises her ordinary British childhood, which he subtly turns into a story of a successful British upbringing, for example, when he explicitly points out that little Joanne was fed home-made food:

When Joanne celebrated her fifth birthday, in 1970, there was no McDonald's or Burger King to tempt young palates. Instead the children would sit up at the table and Ann or Ruby would serve them jelly and ice cream, sandwiches and fairy cakes. Anne Rowling was an accomplished cook. 'She loved it,' says Ruby. 'There was no such thing as takeaways. For one thing the money wasn't there. We couldn't go into a supermarket and pick up a meal just to put it on the table. We had to prepare meals. Anne would always bake cakes for the family. She would prepare the vegetables not put them in a microwave. Everything was so fresh.'18

Like his author, Harry enjoys the pleasures of communal dining at Hogwarts, where he feasts on traditional British homemade food: "roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, chips, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy" as well as "apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate éclairs and jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, jelly, rice pudding" and more.19 Not only food but also English (to be more precise: West Country) landscape plays an important role in Rowling's biography, who moved to a new home in that rural area in 1974: "The Wye here is known as Horseshoe Bend and sweeps past the ruin of Lancaut Church where Joanne would join her fellow Brownies for picnics on warm summer evenings and watch the ravens and buzzards circling above."20 As most reviewers focus on the Cinderella side of her biography, the impoverished single mother coming to riches, the extent to which she markets her Britishness is easily overlooked. Britishness, to be accurate, is an artificial construct imposed on the Harry Potter books, films, and the vita of the author. "Englishness"21 and corresponding concepts of Scottish, Welsh, and Irish national and cultural identity have long been accounted for, yet neither the English nor the Scottish, Welsh, or Irish would refer to themselves as "British" in the first place. Unlike "Englishness," "Britishness" in the sense of a common cultural identity is a rattle-bag of combined clichés and stereotypes to be sold to an international audience outside Britain.

Thus, to a non-British person, Britishness combines English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh elements and consists of components such as tea, fish and chips, tweed, chimneys, country seats, Oliver Twist and other literary orphans, Big Ben, public schools, Parliament, double-decker buses, Victorian architecture, the London Underground, pubs, fog, rain, the Scottish Highlands, Guinness, funny phrases such as "It is raining cats and dogs." If the Potter books alone satisfy many such stereotypes by combining mainly English and Scottish elements, the films add a visual dimension: Harry grows up in an English middle-class suburb in Surrey, attends boarding school in Scotland, wears a school uniform, receives presents on the morning of Christmas Day. The buildings, interiors, vehicles, and landscapes, both in the books and in their filmic realisations, offer visual representations on several historical levels, which let the reader and viewer throw glances at national grandeur. The marketing campaign accompanying the films has been eager to name the locations of the shooting: Gloucester Cathedral, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, Lacock Abbey, King's Cross, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, and other places of British achievements if not national greatness. The Great Hall at Hogwarts, decked out with opulence for festivities like Christmas, was built especially for the film and is intended to resemble Christ Church College at Oxford. While the school itself is a proud example of medieval architecture, Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron allude to seventeenth-century Merry Old England. The film music accompanying Harry's first stroll through this magical shopping centre heightens the archaic impression. The Hogwarts Express, a steam train, and Gringotts Bank, erected to mock Georgian architecture, point to Britain's technical and economic supremacy in the nineteenth century. Among the more recent antiquated items are the blue Ford Anglia Ron and Harry use in their second year to fly to Hogwarts and Remus Lupin's record-player. The Potter books and films are brimming with nostalgic moments relating to Britain's cultural and economic heritage. Celebrations of Britishness also occur on a linguistic level: The movies are not only a veritable Who's Who of British cinema and nearly devoid of American-sounding actors but also present characters - Minerva McGonagall and Oliver Wood - with marked Scottish accents, while Hagrid is allowed to express his sentiments in genuine working-class style. This universal sense of Britishness that reduces Britain to a handful of characteristics, which are commodified and sold to an international audience, makes the books and films so successful. Such BritFests also occur in other film productions like Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Love, Actually (2003) as well as the recent Jane Austen movies. If many 1990s British books for children and young adults deal with housing-estate poverty, teenage pregnancy, and drug abuse,22 the Potter books and films participate in British heritage culture, which reinvents the glorious past as a luxury for the present-day consumer.

(3) The British and the American Edition: Hogwarts goes to Salem

If Britishness is sold around the globe, it does not arrive in homogenous English-language editions, on the contrary. To be more marketable on an international scale, English books are, to use Claire Squires's and Eva Hemmungs Wirtén's term, "transedited,"23 that is, shaped for new local readerships. This is a process during which texts are effectively rewritten for different regional audiences so that globally marketed books sell better locally. When British books for children and for adults are published in the US, Americanisation is part of the editing process, whereas American books are not adapted for British readers. Jane Whitehead describes this surprisingly little-researched practice of cultural translation, which may encompass titles, settings, names, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, idiom, and culture-specific allusions, all of which may be subject to change, sometimes to drastic rewriting.24 The general tendency is that the younger the assumed readership is, the heavier the editing will be. Since for example not all American children know the British word "lorry," it may be substituted by "truck." In picture books for the very young, British illustrators may draw vehicles with a steering wheel in the middle or show cars not on the left- or right-hand side of the road but in its very centre to make a book more acceptable to American publishers.25 The aim is to avoid foreignness, since parents might not buy books when they are unfamiliar with words or items in the pictures. That the competition for children's and teenagers' time is tough is another factor that increases publishers' willingness to cut out the unknown. Fantasy texts, which use strange vocabulary deliberately, undergo fewer changes. This tendency to "Americanise" and thus appropriate literary texts for children stands in marked contrast with current translation theory, especially Lawrence Venuti's concept of "foreignization," which ultimately wants to keep the "foreign" ambience in a translation and make the reader aware that the text is a translation.26 British writers might well complain that they are treated with less sensitivity than Native Americans, whose culture-specific expressions are not attuned to standard American usage.

While the difference between Bloomsbury's British and Scholastic's American Potter versions is discussed on a number of websites, sometimes in depth, sometimes superficially, by far the best survey to date is an article by Philip Nel.27 The Potter books have certainly not been rewritten drastically but have been subjected to the usual changes like small alterations in spelling; for example "grey" (PhS 7) becomes "gray" (SoS 2), "moustache" (PhS 7) becomes "mustache" (SoS 1), etc.28 Individual words are Americanised: "trolley" (PhS 76) becomes "cart" (SoS 101), Hagrid's "motorbike" (PhS 16) becomes a "motorcycle" (SoS 14), and while Harry is about to attend "the local comprehensive" (PhS 28) in the British version, he will go to "the local public school" (SoS 32) in the American version. The British "jumper" knitted by Mrs Weasley as a Christmas present metamorphoses into an American "sweater" (PhS 147; SoS 200). Some changes are made to food: British "chips" (PhS 92) (which, to an American reader, are what the British call "crisps") appear as American "fries" (SoS 123), probably because Scholastic did not want to give the impression that their exemplary magical hero was stuffing himself with unhealthy potato crisps for dinner, while "crumpets," little known outside the UK, are translated as "English muffins" (PhS 146, SoS 199).

More substantial changes were made to the title. If the Bloomsbury edition carries the title Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Scholastic's edition not only has a different cover but is entitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone because the publisher feared that a philosopher would not appeal to American children.29 Since in alchemy, the philosopher's stone makes life without death possible, American readers lose an important recurring reference, which gains a sinister dimension when Harry discovers that Voldemort had contrived to become immortal through his Horcruxes. However, it is to Scholastic's credit that their edition appeals more to the eye than Bloomsbury's: Not only has the American edition an illustration by Mary GrandPré‚ at the beginning of each chapter, for example a baby at the beginning of Chapter One, "The Boy Who Lived," it also uses more varied fonts when letters and handwritten notes are reproduced: In Scholastic's edition, Harry's letter of acceptance to Hogwarts has a handwritten signature of McGonagall printed at its bottom (SoS 51), whereas the Bloomsbury edition simply shows her name in the same font that is used throughout the book (PhS 43).

Occasionally, sentences are added, for example, when Harry undergoes the Sorting Ceremony on his arrival at Hogwarts:

And now there were only three people left to be sorted. "Thomas Dean," a Black boy even taller than Ron, joined Harry at the Gryffindor table. "Turpin, Lisa," became a Ravenclaw and then it was Ron's turn. He was pale green by now. (SoS 122)

And now there were only three people left to be sorted. 'Turpin, Lisa,' became a Ravenclaw and then it was Ron's turn. He was pale green by now. (PhS 91)

The American edition not only enhances diversity at Hogwarts by adding an African American student, it also makes a mistake because as Ron is followed by one more student, the number "three" of the British original should be changed into "four" in Scholastic's version. Some expressions relating to the wizards' sport Quidditch are also translated for an American audience. If Bloomsbury uses the term "Quidditch pitch," Scholastic employs both "Quidditch field" and "Quidditch pitch" (PhS 123, 133; SoS 180, 184). During the match, Dean and Ron talk about rules:
British version:

Down in the stands, Dean Thomas was yelling, 'Send him off, ref! Red card!' 'This isn't football, Dean,' Ron reminded him. 'You can't send people off in Quidditch ? and what's a red card?' (PhS 138)

Unlike Dean Thomas, Ron, who has grown up in a wizarding family, does not know about "Muggle" sports like football and its rules.

American version:

Down in the stands, Dean Thomas was yelling, "Send him off, ref! Red card!" "What are you talking about, Dean?" said Ron. "Red card!" said Dean furiously. "In soccer you get shown the red card and you're out of the game!" "But this isn't soccer, Dean," Ron reminded him. (SoS 188)

Not only is "football" changed to "soccer" but the rules are explained in more detail to an American readership less likely to know them.30 Another feature of Scholastic's version is a marked emphasis on product names rather than generic names. When "jelly" appears as "Jell-O" (PhS 93; SoS 125), a dish is translated into a brand name. When it comes broomsticks, which are sporting equipment and much more than a mere means of transport, the American (unlike the British) version draws additional attention to the new Firebolt by printing its name in a different font, which is set in bold and italicised so that it resembles a logo (PA B 43; PA A 51).31 If British children learn about magic items, young Americans are taught about magic product names because Scholastic obviously felt that brand consciousness was of particular importance to American children. Among the more than 60 different international versions, some, like Scholastic's, have covers that carry the name "Potter" with a flash on the P, the logo used by Warner Brothers for the film, thus emphasising the brand "Potter" and establishing a link between the books and the large number of merchandise items, whereas Bloomsbury's titles employ the "P" in ordinary shape and thus abstain from the visual connection between book, merchandise products, and films.

Arthur A. Levine, who published the US edition of Harry Potter, has been heavily criticized for the linguistic changes, which markedly decrease in the fourth volume, presumably because by then, the text had risen to canonical status.32 Adult fiction undergoes this process of Americanisation, too: A. S. Byatt was expected to accept a substantial rewriting of her novel Possession for publication in the US, but after she had won the Booker Prize, she managed to retain most of the text in its original shape.33 Apart from some articles in the press, the majority of reactions against the American Potter edition can be found online: Both American teenagers and parents complain about these changes, feeling that an exposure to British vocabulary would be far from harmful.34 However, considering that transediting is a standard procedure in the production process, the changes between the American and the British edition do not seem to be too big to me; that Levine consulted Rowling about them is by no means standard practice.35 Whether they are necessary is another question: When the movie Jurassic Park (1993) and its two sequels kicked off a fashion for dinosaurs that lasted for years, it became a must for young children to collect the figures and to rattle off the long Latin names at great speed and without any mistakes. Surely, these children would be able to cope with crumpets, jumpers, and comprehensive schools?36 The linguistic overprotection to which such silent transediting leads is not beneficial, since, in the long run, American children must come to terms with regional varieties of English. If, for British readers of American books, which are not changed, the use of American vocabulary opens new worlds, there is no reason why American children should not profit from a similar experience, especially as one function of reading is the continuous expansion of vocabulary.

The culture war continues into the film version, for which Steven Spielberg was at first considered as director, a task which he said he declined since there was "no challenge" in it,37 yet Smith's biography states that Rowling and Spielberg "did not see eye to eye about bringing Harry Potter to the screen."38 The fears voiced by British readers in the debates about the best possible director were driven by cultural anxieties: Not only might Harry speak with an American accent but the school might be turned into "Hogwarts High," and even the spectre of a "cheerleading girlfriend" was evoked.39 Eventually, it fell to Chris Columbus to save Harry from such a dreadful fate by directing the first two films in faithful accordance with the books. And yet another culture throws its dark shadows: In the US in particular, Christian parents seem to be worried about the promotion of witchcraft and magic as the ultimate threat to their children.40 Such reactions, which are not always based on thorough readings and regard the books as tools of the occult, have found echoes in Europe, for example in an Austrian parish newsletter, which accuses Potter of posing "a danger to our children" ("eine Gefahr für unsere Kinder").41 It seems surprising that, on the one hand, the global availability of a bestseller can be managed so efficiently through the provision of world-wide distribution channels, transediting, and translation, yet that, on the other hand, no degree of cultural translation seems to be capable of calming down such deeply felt anxieties.

(4) Translating Harry Potter

The transediting described by Wirtén, the adaptation of a text to fit regional cultures all over the world, also occurs through translation. As Harry Potter has been translated into 67 languages, including Latin and Greek but also languages spoken by small linguistic communities such as Hungarian and Basque, the books are a good example to illustrate current translation issues.42 Since Bloomsbury provided no copies for translators prior to the release of the English books, translations had to be produced with unusual speed, so that in fact unofficial, even illegal translations were encouraged. One German fan-site for example, "Harry auf Deutsch" ("Harry in German"), worked on collaborative translations of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which were only accessible to registered users.43 As translators of Potter primarily write for audiences of children, clarity ranks high in the list of criteria that need to be observed, since the aim of any translation of a children's book will be the child-centred text.44 Practically every translator faces problems when dealing with Rowling's newly coined wizarding vocabulary, due to the large number of new words, which are difficult to translate but comprise one major attraction of the text. A translation has to convey the sense of place of the source language and work creatively with the neologisms, likewise imitate plays on words in the target language. The balance between the necessity to familiarise contexts on the one hand and the need to keep the Potter books British on the other hand proves sometimes to be rather difficult. In early years, the German, French, and Spanish translations represented about 10 percent of the overall sales in the series,45 yet that, as Nancy K. Jentsch claims, the German translation sold better than the French and Spanish translation combined, is in all likelihood due to its quality.

One common problem for most translators is the use of pronouns for address: The universal English "you" is "du," "ihr," "Sie" in German, "tú," "usted," "ustedes" in Spanish, and "tu," "vous" in French so that the translator has to add differentiations to the original version. In the German translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, for example, Snape uses the Geman informal "du" when talking to Harry (whom he calls "Potter"), says "tú" in the Spanish version, while he employs the much more formal "vous" in French. Dumbledore, who is on a more familiar footing with Harry, addresses him with "tu." When Harry encounters Firenze in the Forbidden Forest, the centaur addresses the Hogwarts pupil with the formal "Sie" in the German translation, thus demonstrating distance and respect, while using the informal "tu" in the French text; the Spanish version also has the informal second person singular, more appropriate when a child is spoken to.46

Of equal importance is the sense of place. Klaus Fritz's German translation keeps most places and characters' names as they appear and thus leads the child reader into distinctly British settings, whereas the French translation changes them, thereby toning down Britishness. Jean-François Ménard, also known as Roald Dahl's French translator, produced a very smooth text, partly through changing many English words: The school's name "Hogwarts," which the German translator leaves as it is, becomes "Poudlard" in French, literally "pig's louse" and not too far from the school's English name. Likewise, the protagonists' names change: Draco Malfoy becomes Drago Malefoy, Snape becomes Rogue (literally "arrogant"), and the four houses obtain new names, too, for example "Slytherin," which has a serpent for its symbol, is fittingly called "Serpentard." Thus, the French child reader is not exposed to words he or she cannot pronounce, has the additional advantage of understanding many of the puns and neologisms, yet may fail to read the book as a British boarding school story. When, in the fourth sequel, French pupils visit, the cultural frictions must be difficult to comprehend for the reader of the French translation. Occasionally, the French translation adds a short section of dialogue, for example to explain the meaning of "prefect."47 The Spanish version, in contrast, leaves not only names intact but retains English words like snitch, bludger, or quaffle (all relating to Quidditch) in italics, to an extent that they easily disorient the reader.48 The decision which words to leave untranslated is particularly virulent when it comes to the wizards' sport, Quidditch, which remains Quidditch in French, German, and Spanish, yet is italicised in the Spanish translation. Fritz in particular has devoted much care to the translation of sporting vocabulary, for example rendering the "Cleansweep Seven," one type of broom, as "Sauberwisch Sieben."49 Since "sweep" indicates not only cleaning but also a fast, elegant movement (as in "the car swept past"), the German translation makes the item more domestic, less stylish but more likely to elicit laughter, and as "Sauber" rhymes with "Zauber," a new play on words is added. In the French version, the sporting equipment is translated with far less consistency. The importance of the sporting scenes is obvious from the following anecdote: When Rowling first submitted the manuscript, she had very little rewriting to do - with a few exceptions: She was asked to increase the information on Quidditch by explaining the rules because this sport would appeal to boys in particular.50 As Quidditch is of supreme importance to some of the computer games, the translation of its terminology may be decisive for the success of the brand "Potter."

Since Harry Potter's good fortunes soon attracted plagiarism, the author had to proceed legally against a number of unauthorised translations, imitations, and fake sequels. For example, in 2007 a Chinese version of the final volume was released a few weeks prior to Rowling's own book. Several imitations and translations with titles like "Harry Potter and the Chinese Empire," "Harry Potter and the Big Funnel," or "Harry Potter and the Showdown" have been published in China, even with the imprint of major publishers, who said that they had no knowledge about them.51 Rowling had already had won a case against a Chinese publishing house in 2002.52 That not all pirates are linguistically competent enough to translate the books well is illustrated by a case in Venezuela, where an illegal translation into Spanish was produced, which eventually led to the imprisonment of two people and contains passages like "Here comes something that I'm unable to translate, sorry."53 The cost of piracy is huge: An interview in the German publishers' magazine Börsenblatt estimates a loss of 2.5 million Euros caused by illegal downloads of the German audiobook Harry Potter und der Halbblutprinz (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) alone.54 If, on one level, the global Harry Potter craze is a good starting point for discussions about editing and translating children's books, on another level it serves to highlight drastic cases of copyright infringement. The new trade agreement TRIPS, mandatory for all member countries of the WTO, imposes legally binding standards regarding intellectual property, yet the legal disputes are dealt with in national courts so that an author has take legal action in the trespasser's own country, which may not feasible for writers whose books sell less well than Rowling's. Hence, the global marketing of books raises not only the issue of copyright but also the question of its enforceability.55

(5) The Reader Turned Consumer: Merchandise and Films

Merchandising undertakes the creation and marketing of products related to a brand, for example the brand "Harry Potter."56 This marketing of fictitious characters from books and films targets buyers, especially children, on an emotional level. When no-name articles such as socks or T-shirts are provided with logos, the image transfer from a well-known book or film is intended to evoke a positive reaction resulting in the decision to make a purchase: a Beatrix Potter calendar, Winnie-the-Pooh cereal, etc. While merchandising aims to make money quickly after the release of a book or a film because the craze for a character rarely lasts long, The Lord of the Rings can be cited as an exception to this rule because products, ranging from posters and calendars to puzzles, had been sold for decades before the release of Peter Jackson's films. Although the items are frequently overprized in comparison with no-name articles, children, parents, or adult collectors will not necessarily be discouraged because brand names denote quality. When Warner Brothers bought the licensing rights for Harry Potter and sold the rights to a large number of international partners, among them Coca-Cola, Lego, Hasbo, Mattel, and many others, Rowling retained some control and, for example, demanded that no Harry Potter character could be shown drinking Coca-Cola.57 The merchandise products began to appear in the second half of 2000, before the first film premiered in November 2001. The marketing machine has produced toys (action figures, Lego, broomsticks, wands), clothes (T-shirts, scarves, costumes), computer games, stationery (pens, notebooks, stickers, greeting cards, calendars), sweets, and a lot of money.58 If some items like Hogwarts Lego have sold like wildfire, a variety of others seem to have remained on the toyshops' shelves. Producers of Harry merchandise are obliged to adhere to style guides provided by Warner Brothers, which aim to ensure uniform appearance: These guides prescribe the main characters' faces and postures, colour schemes, icons like the Hogwarts crests, or the appearance of buildings. All items must be approved before they can go into production and on sale.59 As many Potter enthusiasts have grown up since 1997, teenage and young adult consumers, hardly keen on Lego and broomsticks, have recently been targeted with more intensity, while the styles have been redeveloped to suit different and more diverse audiences.60 In Germany, some of the merchandising turned out to be a failure, possibly because the products were of poor quality, too expensive, and style-wise not attractive enough, as a study by Andrea Frey and Friederike Wagner, based on a local survey in the small German town of Lüneburg, convincingly argues.61 The local children who had read the books were certainly delighted to obtain a new Potter volume on the release date at midnight and to dress up as witches and wizards for the occasion but did not necessarily spend the huge sums Warner Brothers wanted them to and thus proved that the true hero in this story remains the book, which, like Harry himself, survives against all odds. The most recent developments in the Harryverse are an exhibition in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry and plans for a theme park in Orlando, scheduled to open in 2009 and 2010 respectively.62

Besides, Rowling herself has so far written three short additional books, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001), Quidditch Through the Ages (2001), and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008), donating the proceeds to charity. Even though Christopher Little Agency discourages companion books by other writers and books accompanying the films, a number of additional print products have been released: magazines about the films, parodies, lists of vocabulary, teaching aids, glossaries. The recent legal battle about Steven Vander Ark's projected dictionary that grew out of a website shows that author and publisher are willing to fight for their share of the market.

At the very centre of all the accompanying products are the films with renowned British actors, a veritable Who's Who of British cinema and largely faithful to the books, since Rowling retained a lot of influence over the production. If the books and films have turned out to be money-spinners, the DVDs are economically even more rewarding. When the VHS tape was dethroned a few years ago, it was rapidly replaced by the financially much more attractive DVD, which is faster as well as easier to produce and delivers more quality. It is estimated that if a DVD wholesale unit is priced at $16, $2.75 will be spent for marketing, another $1 for duplication, $0.90 for packaging, and $0.80 for distribution, which leaves a gross profit of $10.55 per unit.63 Each of the films was initially released as one disc, to be later followed by two-disc sets containing both film and additional material so that true fans would be lured into another purchase. The function of the two-DVD version, usually released after the one-DVD version, is the extension of the product's or brand's life-cycle. Such bonus DVDs, which document the production, show interviews with the actors, and, in the case of the Potter films, convey the message that everyone on the film set is part of one big happy family, are a fairly recent invention, for which the material released with The Lord of the Rings set standards both in terms of quality and of quantity.64

Like Jackson's film epic, the Potter movies have been produced for the visual imagination of children and young adults, which has been shaped by computer games and takes them as a stylistic reference.65 It comes hardly as a surprise that Potter also succeeds as a computer game. The Quidditch scenes in the film, the fights with the dragon in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and the combat with Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix all cater for the visual habits of children used to such computer games. If novels end on closure, such games allow extensions to the story with a certain amount of (imagined) agency. Even though, in the case of Harry Potter, the books are clearly the most sought-after items, it is noteworthy that merchandise products, even more so online fandom, increasingly question the primacy of print.

(6) The Internet and Online Fandom

The internet provides numerous sources of information on Harry Potter both through official websites created by publishers or studios and through unofficial websites run by fans, of which Rowling has been rather tolerant simply by ignoring them. Among the functions of these websites are the collection and storage of information about the books, the author, and the films, and the inspiration of activities, ranging from discussions and role plays to creative writing. Pottermania is unthinkable without the flourishing internet fan communities as the large number of fan websites shows, some of which have even been awarded prizes by Rowling herself. Among the most poplar are "The Leaky Cauldron" (, "The Harry Potter Alliance" (, which addresses current political and human rights issues, and "The Harry Potter Lexicon" (, maintained by librarian Steven Vander Ark, who coordinated an online dictionary about Harry Potter and was sued when he tried to bring it out as a book. Rowling herself maintains a website, "J. K. Rowling's Official Site" (, which testifies to her highly professional self-marketing. The publishers have been quick to respond to their fans' style of communication: Carlsen in Germany organised several online events by asking readers to vote on the next book's cover.66 The regularly updated Warner Brothers' websites have presented photographs and trailers of each new film (for example "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,", continuously adding new visual material as the launch date of the movie draws closer, thus unveiling glimpse after glimpse. Marketing brands online is comparatively inexpensive and inspires consumers to spend a fairly large amount of time studying a new item.67 The co-existence of official and unofficial Potter sites has not been always been peaceful: In December 2000, 15-year old Clare Field, who had maintained a fansite (, received mail from Warner Brothers, asking her to remove her domain name, and on contacting the press, found out that other websites had been treated in a similar manner. This led to the formation of a Potteresque group called DADA ("Defense Against the Dark Arts"), which launched a campaign to create awareness of the way in which Warner Brothers communicated with online fans and at one stage even called for a boycott of all Harry goods.68

A fairly recent phenomenon is online fan fiction, in fact a continuation of the stories by virtual writers who fashion their identities, posted on websites like and "Viola Owlfeather's Harry-Potter-Kiste" ("Viola Owlfeather's Harry Potter Chest,", a German website, contains among various other contributions creative reactions to the Potter books, too. Fan fiction, which used to be published in magazines and has one root in the cult around Star Trek, often invites collective, shared writing, is never closed, and defies traditional notions of authorship and literary property.69 As the reader becomes an author himself, a fundamental boundary breaks down. Generally, the life of such websites and of the authorship it carries is fragile: As many websites praised in recent academic studies no longer exist, authorship of such digital fan texts is subject to conditions different from those experienced by an author whose works are "in print." If the shelf-life of a book can be calculated, the duration of online fandom can be brief or long, while the digital author, who takes up a very precarious position between "creative worker" and "illegitimate intruder,"70 may have no say in this. Although the legal status of fan fiction is uncertain, fans in the United States can be defended by the concept of fair use.71

One of the most important websites with Harry Potter fan fiction,, offers several categories to the reader and writer, among them romance, mystery, and humour. Users can also decide about which character they want to read or write online stories, which are never finished, since anyone can add comments and make changes. Rowling's major characters, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, are favourites but also Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape get much attention. Several types of rewriting exist: Some fans develop marginal characters, others invent new characters such as the half-serpent Naga, magicked into existence by the digital writer Morea.72 Other contributors have continued storylines from the individual volumes. Since the last volume ends after the "Battle of Hogwarts," followed only by a brief postscript set 19 years later, fans have written numerous texts about the days immediately after Voldemort's defeat. In imitation of Star Trek, some episodes deal with "the next generation," the major characters' children, whom Rowling's postscript introduces. One favourite recurrent plot is a Romeo-and-Juliet type of love story between Harry's daughter Lily and Draco's son Scorpio. Most of these creative additions are fairly short, but longer texts, called "novels," exist, too. If many websites are maintained by teenage fans, some seem to be professionally run, especially those with ads. Kristin Thompson's study The Frodo Franchise cites the example of a Tolkien fan who made a lucrative arrangement with Amazon, receiving 15 percent of the profits from sales induced through a link on his site.73

One the most popular sub-genres of fan fiction is "slash fiction," often written by women, which aims to present all-male romances, frequently Romantic encounters between Harry and Draco.74 The high degree of interaction between Rowling and her online fans, who contributed so much to her reputation and wealth, became obvious when she appeared at Carnegie Hall in October 2007 and was asked whether Dumbledore had ever been in love, to which she replied that she always had conceived of him as gay,75 thus implicitly acknowledging her online fans and their texts. By revealing additional bits and pieces of information about her characters, for example, that Harry Potter chose the profession of auror (posted on Rowling's own website), she skilfully plays her fans' game, since, being, after all, the author, she has more authority over her characters than anyone else but also expresses appreciation of her fans' need for continuation. By defying the closure of the text and treating the stories as texts that can continue to be written, she inspires her fans' creativity and helps to undermine the distinction between author and reader, thus following a trend in digital writing described by Mark Poster,76 albeit not at all times, as the Vander Ark case proves. One fan website that recently hit the news is Vander Ark's "Harry Potter Lexicon" (, a very well-structured and thorough dictionary, which Rowling herself acknowledged years ago by stating: "This is such a great site that I have been known to sneak into an internet café while out writing and check a fact rather than go into a bookshop and buy a copy of Harry Potter (which is embarrassing). A website for the dangerously obsessive; my natural home."77 That RDR Books was banned from publishing the dictionary in book form in 200878 shows that Rowling is well capable of redrawning the line between author and non-author very quickly.

Finally, Pottermania has also inspired the creation of printed parodies, among them Barry Trotter or - my favourite - a collection of essays edited by Neil Mulholland, The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived (2006), written in the avuncular tone of Freudian psychoanalysis, which are not immediately recognizable as spoofs. E. David Klonsky and Rebecca Laptook's piece "'Dobby Had to Iron His Hands, Sir!' Self-Inflicted Cuts, Burns, and Bruises in Harry Potter"79 wittily draws attention to the fact that, by realistic standards, the fantastic heroes appear quite disturbed at times and that some of the goings-on at Hogwarts are sinister, like the sorting of students into houses, and hardly conducive to the ideal of diversity. The ever-widening circle of readers has inspired new writers, who, through the choice of the print medium, cater for the tastes of more mature Potter readers.

(7) Global McDonaldization?

While the original seven books have metamorphosed into a multimedia event, a chain of sales, the bestseller Harry Potter is marketed on a scale unimaginable without globally operating media conglomerates and without online resources. What can the brand "Potter" teach us about the future of publishing? Production processes have become faster, as we can see from the need to produce translations quickly, and that means that publishers have to develop professional communication strategically.80 One example: In a guest lecture at the Department of Book Studies at Mainz University on 13 February 2009, Urban van Melis, the German publisher Carlsen's chief sales manager, explained how the hype surrounding the release dates of the new Potter books had made publishers aware of the marketing potential of such events. Among the growing concerns that need to be looked at on a global scale are copyright issues since their enforceability is made difficult through the large number of national markets and judicial systems. If Rowling has successfully managed to ban infringements on copyright, other, less famous authors with fewer financial resources may be less lucky. And what happens to national literatures in this market? As, according to a UNESCO survey of 2004, nearly 50 percent of translations are made from English but only six percent into English, cultural models from English-speaking countries must necessarily become dominant.81 What Potter's franchise holders sell is Britishness in a reduced form, prepackaged for the planned Orlando Disney theme park. George Ritzer coined the term "McDonaldization" to describe such processes.82 If Rowling, her publishers, and Warner Brothers have profited immensely, some cogs in the huge money-making machine, namely smaller booksellers, have complained about small profits due to the low prices of the Potter books that chain-stores can afford.83 A further development is that online communities have started to magic away traditional concepts of authorship. If the occasional author fights back because of copyright issues, he or she fights what looks like a losing battle in the long run. However, for the time being, the book remains the hero of the story and, like Harry Potter himself, with incredible resilience has managed to survive against all odds.

1 Alison Flood, "Potter Tops 400 Million Sales," The Bookseller (17 June 2008) ( (retrieved 28 March 2009).

2 From the publication of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2003) onwards, the UK and American editions were released simultaneously.

3 For more literary introductions, see Lana A. Whited (ed.), The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2002); Philip Nel, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Novels: A Reader's Guide (New York: Continuum, 2001); Julia Eccleshare, A Guide to the Harry Potter Novels (London: Continuum, 2002); Giselle Liza Anatol (ed.), Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays (Westport: Greenwood, 2003); Sandra Bak, Harry Potter. Auf den Spuren eines zauberhaften Bestsellers (Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 2004); Cynthia Whitney Hallett (ed.), Scholarly Studies in Harry Potter: Applying Academic Methods to a Popular Text (Lewiston: Mellen Press, 2005); Elizabeth Heilman (ed.), Harry Potter's World: Multidisciplinary Critical Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2002); see also the following very informative review article: Lana A. Whited, "McGonagall's Prophecy Fulfilled: The Harry Potter Critical Library," The Lion and the Unicorn 27 (2003), pp. 416-25. On marketing see Susan Gunelius, Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), one of the few books that moves beyond literary criticism and concentrates on the marketing side; Al Terego and Sue Denim, "Riddikulus! Consumer Reflections on the Harry Potter Phenomenon," in Stephen Brown (ed.), Consuming Books: The Marketing and Consumption of Literature (London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 146-59; Stephen Brown, "Marketing for Muggles: The Harry Potter Way to Higher Profits," Business Horizons 45 (2002), pp. 6-14. A very useful link collection is Phil Nel, "J. K. Rowling on the Web" ( (retrieved 26 March 2009). A general introduction is Thomas Kullmann, Englische Kinder- und Jugendliteratur. Eine Einführung (Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2008).

4 Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, "Global Markets 1970 - 2000: Producers," in Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose (eds.), A Companion to the History of the Book (Malden: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 395-405, here p. 401.

5 Nicholas Tucker, "The Rise and Rise of Harry Potter," Children's Literature in Education 30 (1999), pp. 221-34.

6 Roni Natov, "Harry Potter and the Extraordinariness of the Ordinary," The Lion and the Unicorn 25 (2001), pp. 310-27, here p. 311.

7 On the Harry's similarity to fairy tale characters see M. Katherine Grimes, "Harry Potter: Fairy Tale Prince, Real Boy, and Archetypal Hero," in Whited (ed.), The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter, pp. 89-122.

8 Jeffrey Richards, Happiest Days: The Public Schools in English Fiction (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), pp. 23-69.

9 Richards, Happiest Days, p. 18.

10 On Blyton's impact see Robert Druce, This Day Our Daily Fictions: An Enquiry into the Multi-Million Bestseller Status of Enid Blyton and Ian Fleming (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1992).

11 For parallels between Harry Potter and Jane Austen's novels, see Karin E. Westman, "Perspective, Memory, and Moral Authority: The Legacy of Jane Austen in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter," Children's Literature 35 (2007), pp. 145-65. For parallels to other texts see also Amy Billone, "The Boy Who Lived: From Carroll's Alice and Barrie's Peter Pan to Rowling's Harry Potter," Children's Literature 2 (2004), pp. 178-202.

12 Brown, "Marketing for Muggles," p. 12.

13 For criticism that takes account of the book market see Claire Squires, Marketing Literature: The Making of Contemporary Writing in Britain (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 161-71. On the "brands" Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Hollywood see Paul Grainge, Brand Hollywood: Selling Entertainment in a Global Media Age (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 130-50.

14 In an interview, Pullman called his trilogy "Paradise Lost for teenagers in three volumes"; Wendy Parsons and Catriona Nicholson, "Talking to Philip Pullman: An Interview," The Lion and the Unicorn 23 (1999), pp. 116-34; here p. 126.

15 Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (Cambridge/Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984).

16 Kent Drummond, "Culture Club: Marketing and Consuming The Da Vinci Code," in Brown (ed.), Consuming Books, pp. 60-72, here pp. 69-70; Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code (New York: Doubleday, 2003). Tracy Chevalier's bestselling novel Girl With a Pearl Earring (New York: Dutton, 1999) caters for similar tastes by combining a love story with information about seventeenth-century Dutch painting.

17 One of the most provocative books about the Harry Potter craze is Andrew Blake's study, which situates Harry Potter in the fashion of reinventing an English past: Andrew Blake, The Irresistible Rise of Harry Potter (London: Verso, 2002). Tucker also emphasises the stories' "distinctly backward-looking quality"; Tucker, "The Rise and Rise of Harry Potter," p. 221. On the "branding" of countries see Wally Olins, "Branding the Nation - the Historical Context," The Journal of Brand Management 9 (2002), pp. 241-48. This journal issue contains a number of articles about country branding.

18 Sean Smith, J. K. Rowling: A Biography (London: Arrow, 2002), p. 16.

19 J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone [1997] (London: Bloomsbury, 1998), p. 92, 93.

20 Smith, J. K. Rowling, p. 22.

21 Antony Easthope, Englishness and National Culture (London: Routledge, 1999). "British," however, is frequently used to distinguish British from American English.

22 Blake, The Irresistable Rise of Harry Potter, p. 7. An example is Melvin Burgess, Junk (London: Andersen Press, 1996).

23 Claire Squires, "The Global Market 1970 - 2000: Consumers," in Eliot and Rose (eds.), A Companion to the History of the Book, pp. 406-18, here p. 409; Eva Hemmungs Wirtén, Global Infatuation: Explorations in Transnational Publishing and Texts: The Case of Harlequin Enterprises and Sweden (Section for Sociology of Literature: Uppsala, 1998), pp. 121-53.

24 Jane Whitehead, "'This is NOT What I Wrote!': The Americanization of British Children's Books? Part I," Horn Book Magazine 72 (1996), pp. 687-93, and "'This is Not What I Wrote!': The Americanization of British Children's Books - Part II," Horn Book Magazine 73 (1997), pp. 27-34, here p. 688.

25 Whitehead, "'This is NOT What I Wrote!,'" p. 691.

26 Lawrence Venuti, The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation (London: Routledge, 1995), p. 24.

27 Philip Nel, "You say 'Jelly,' I Say 'Jell-O'? Harry Potter and the Transfiguration of Language," in Whited (ed.), The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter, pp. 261-84. Some websites that list differences are: "Differences in the UK and US Versions of Four Harry Potter Books" ( (retrieved 11 March 2009); "Harry Potter: British/American Text Comparison" ( (retrieved 11 March 2009); "The Harry Potter Lexicon"/"Help/About Differences: Harry Potter Books" ( (retrieved 11 March 2009).

28 Henceforth, Bloomsbury's version will be abbreviated as "PhS" and Scholastic's as "SoS": Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (New York: Levine, 1998). Levine is an imprint of Scholastic.

29 Another example is Philip Pullman's Northern Lights (London: Scholastic, 1995), changed to The Golden Compass (New York: Knopf, 1996) for American readers. On the importance of covers see Cat Yampbell, "Judging a Book by Its Cover: Publishing Trends in Young Adult Literature," The Lion and the Unicorn 29 (2005) pp. 348-72, and Jason Britton, "A New Day for Design," Publishers Weekly 249 (43) (28 October 2002), pp. 28-32.

30 See also Nel, "You Say 'Jelly,' I Say 'Jell-O'?," pp. 265-66.

31 J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [1999] (London: Bloomsbury, 1999), and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (New York: Scholastic, 1999). These two titles are henceforth abbreviated as PA B (British version) and PA A (American version).

32 See Arthur A. Levine, "Bringing Harry to America," The Washington Post (11 July 2007) ( (retrieved 17 March 2009).

33 Helge Nowak, "A. S. Byatt's Possession for British and for American Readers," Erfurt Electronic Studies in English 8 (1997) ( (retrieved 17 March 2009).

34 See for example the entries on "Americanisation of British Children's Fiction" ( (retrieved 17 March 2009); Peter H. Gleick, "Harry Potter, Minus a Certain Flavour," The New York Times (10 July 2000) ( (retrieved 30 March 2009).

35 Nel, "You Say 'Jelly,' I Say 'Jell-O'?," p. 264.

36 See Anne Burns, "Opportunities or Threats? The Case of English as a Global Language," Publishing Research Quarterly 18 (2003), pp. 18-25.

37 Steven Spielberg according to (5 September 2001) (retrieved 11 March 2009).

38 Smith, J. K. Rowling, p. 211.

39 Smith, J. K. Rowling, p. 210; Nel, "You Say 'Jelly,' I Say 'Jell-O'?," p. 271.

40 See for example Jodi Wilgoren, "Don't Give Us Little Wizards, the Anti-Potter Parents Cry," The New York Times (1 November 1999) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009).

41 "Harry-Potter-Bücher sind eine Gefahr für unsere Kinder," Lebendige Pfarre St. Jakob Windischgarsten 112 (November 2000), p. 16. My thanks go to Prof. Franz K. Stanzel for pointing out this passage to me.

42 The figures vary, presumably because some translations into languages spoken by small linguistic communities have not been realised although plans had been announced. On translations see three articles in particular: Eirlys E. Davies, "A Goblin or a Dirty Nose? The Treatment of Culture-Specific References in Translations of the Harry Potter Books," The Translator 9 (2003), pp. 65-100; Gillian Lathey, "The Travels of Harry: International Marketing and the Translation of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter Books," The Lion and the Unicorn 29 (2005), pp. 141-51; Nancy K. Jentsch, "Harry Potter and the Tower of Babel: Translating the Magic," in Whited (ed.), The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter, pp. 285-301. While Davies mostly focuses on the French and German translations, of which a detailed analysis is given, Jentsch also considers the Spanish translation. Lathey gives a fairly broad survey but focuses less on details. On international children's book publishing see Christina Biamonte, "Crossing Cultures in Children's Book Publishing," Publishing Research Quarterly 18 (2002), pp. 26-42.

43 "Harry auf Deutsch" ( (retrieved 17 March 2009). For the legal dispute and the subsequent agreement with the German publisher Carlsen see "'Harry auf Deutsch' darf weitermachen," Spiegel Online (8 July 2003) (,1518,256279,00.html) (retrieved 17 March 2009).

44 Emer O'Sullivan, Kinderliterarische Komparatistik (Heidelberg: Winter, 2000), p. 178, regrets a lack of translation theory concerning children's literature and provides a list of criteria worthy of consideration (pp. 178-257). Among the few children's books to attract extensive critical attention from translation studies is Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1865).

45 Jentsch, "Harry Potter and the Tower of Babel," p. 287, 300; see Joanne K. Rowling, Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, trans. by Klaus Fritz [1998] (Hamburg: Carlsen, 2005); J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers, trans. Jean-François Ménard [1998] (Paris: Gallimard Jeunesse, 2007); J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal, trans. Alicia Dellepiane Rawson [1999] (Barcelona: salamandra, 52nd ed. 2008).

46 Jentsch, "Harry Potter and the Tower of Babel," pp. 288-90, points at some inconsistencies in the use of pronouns.

47 Rowling, Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers, p. 107; Davies, "A Goblin or a Dirty Nose?," pp. 77-79, gives several examples.

48 Rowling, Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal, p. 157. Surprisingly, the Spanish hardback edition italicises the sporting vocabulary, while the paperback edition (16th ed. 2008, p. 157) does not, thereby increasing the difficulties for a child reader.

49 Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, p. 113; Rowling, Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen, p. 167.

50 Sean Smith, J. K. Rowling, p. 157.

51 Howard W. French, "Chinese Market Awash in Fake Potter Books," The New York Times (1 August 2007) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009). For covers of such books see Roy Berman, "The Ultimate Sequels Aka Asia Loves You," The Mutantfrog Travelogue (20 July 2007) ( ) (retrieved 23 March 2009).

52 Oliver August and Jack Malvern "Legal Magic Spells Win for Harry in China," The Times (2 November 2002) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009); see also "Fake Harry Potter Novel Hits China," BBC News (4 July 2002) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009). For a Russian imitation see Tim Wu, "Harry Potter and the International Order of Copyright," Slate (27 June 2003) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009). Even though Wikipedia articles can lack essential details, the entries on Harry Potter are worth looking at because of the large number of relevant links, especially "Harry Potter in Translation," with information about translation and illegal sequels ( (retrieved 23 March 2009).

53 "Potter Pirates Sorry for Mistakes," BBC News (3 September 2003) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009).

54 [Interview with Heike Völker-Sieber], "Langfristig gerät die fragile Mischkalkulation aus dem Gleichgewicht," Börsenblatt (10 September 2008) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009).

55 Andrew Leifer, "Harry Potter and the Battle of the International Copyright Law" ( (retrieved 23 March 2009); John Feather, "Copyright and the Creation of Literary Property," in Eliot and Rose (eds.), A Companion to the History of the Book, pp. 520-30, here p. 529.

56 See Gunelius, Harry Potter, p. 86. A German case study is: Andrea Frey and Friederike Wagner, "Alles fauler Zauber? Theorien und Hintergründe zum Harry Potter-Merchandising," in Christine Garbe and Maik Philipp (eds.), Harry Potter - Ein Literatur- und Medienereignis im Blickpunkt interdisziplinärer Forschung (Hamburg: LIT Verlag, 2006), pp. 183-212. See also Philip Nel, "Is There a Text in This Advertising Campaign?: Literature, Marketing, and Harry Potter," The Lion and the Unicorn 29 (2005), pp. 236-67.

57 Nel, "Is There a Text in This Advertising Campaign?," p. 241.

58 Gunelius, Harry Potter, p. 90-91; Carol Polsky, "From Hogwarts to Hedwig, A Merchandising Blitz" (,0,5829896.story) (retrieved 23 March 2009); David D. Kirkpatrick, "A New Sign on Harry's Forehead: For Sale," The New York Times (16 June 2003) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009); on the prizes some collectors willingly pay see James Cockington, "Under Potter's Spell," The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 2008) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009). No official companion books have been released with the films as for example in the case of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

59 "We've Got Designs on Harry," BBC Home (2002) ( (23 March 2009).

60 Graham Pomphrey, "Jay Young Bruno Schwobthaler," License (1 October 2006) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009).

61 Frey and Wagner, "Alles fauler Zauber?," pp. 204-10.

62 See "Harry Potter: The Exhibition" ( and "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" ( (both retrieved 30 March 2009).

63 Dave McNary, "Disc-ord Ahead," Variety (23 December 2003) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009); Johnnie L. Roberts, "The Disc That Saved Hollywood," Newsweek (20 August 2001) ( (retrieved 23 March 2009).

64 Kristin Thompson, The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), p. 216. For the story of The Lords of the Rings on DVD see pp. 204-23, and Craig Hight, "Making-of Documentaries on DVD: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Special Editions," The Velvet Light Trap 56 (2005), pp. 4-17.

65 Kristin Thompson, "Fantasy, Franchises, and Frodo Baggins: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood," The Velvet Light Trap 52 (2003), pp. 45-63, here p. 47.

66 "Cover-Wahl im Internet," Spiegel Online (10 August 2000) (,1518,88499,00.html) and (both retrieved 25 March 2009). Carlsen also publishes Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, for which a fan club contest was recently organised.

67 For The Lord of the Rings and online marketing as well as online fandom see Thompson, The Frodo Franchise, pp. 133-91.

68 See Whited, "Introduction. Harry Potter: From Craze to Classic," in Whited (ed.), The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter, pp. 1-12, here p. 11; Rebecca Sutherland Borah, "Apprentice Wizards Welcome: Fan Communities and the Culture of Harry Potter," in Whited (ed.), The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter, pp. 343-64; here p. 354-55; Pravina Patel, "Harry Potter Fans Start Boycott on Film Merchandise," The Mail on Sunday (25 February 2001), p. 35; "The Daily Prophet" ( and (both retrieved 30 March 2009).

69 A general introduction is Harry Jenkins, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (New York: Routledge, 1992); for the psychological aspects of fan culture see Matt Hills, Fan Cultures (London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 90-113; on online fandom see Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse (eds.), Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays (Jefferson: McFarland University Press, 2006); on German online fans see Claudia Beinkinstadt Krumlauf, "Harry Potter und das World Wide Web. Anschlusskommunikation jugendlicher Harry Potter-Fans im Internet," in Garbe and Philipp (eds.), Harry Potter - Ein Literatur- und Medienereignis, pp. 235-54.

70 Mark Poster, "The Digital Subject and Cultural Theory," in David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery (eds.), The Book History Reader (London: Routledge, 2nd ed. 2006), pp. 486-93, here p. 487.

71 Catherine Tosenberger, "Homosexuality and the Online Hogwarts: Harry Potter Slash Fanfiction," Children's Literature 36 (2008), pp. 185-207; here p. 185.

72 Morea, Naga: First Year, accessible through ( (retrieved 25 March 2009).

73 Thompson, The Frodo Franchise, p. 154.

74 Tosenberger, "Homosexuality and the Online Hogwarts" and "'Oh my God, the Fanfiction!' Dumbledore's Outing and the Online Harry Potter Fandom," Children's Literature Association Quarterly 33 (2008), pp. 200-06; Michelle Pauli, "Fan Fiction," The Guardian (5 December 2002) ( (retrieved 25 March 2009) lists additional websites. A highly entertaining piece on a Harry Potter conference and fan fiction is Carole Cadwalladr, "Harry Potter and the Mystery of an Academic Obsession," The Observer (6 August 2006) ( (retrieved 25 March 2009).

75 Rebecca Traister, "Dumbledore? Gay? J. K. Rowling? Chatty. What happens when authors like J. K. Rowling Can't Stop Telling Their Own Stories?" (23 October 2007) ( (retrieved 25 March 2009).

76 Poster, "The Digital Subject and Cultural Theory," p. 489.

77 77 "J. K. Rowling Official Site" ( (retrieved 25 March 2009).

78 John Eligon, "Rowling Wins Lawsuit against Potter Lexicon," The New York Times (8 September 2008) ( (retrieved 25 March 2009).

79 E. David Klonsky and Rebecca Laptook, "'Dobby Had to Iron His Hands, Sir!' Self-Inflicted Cuts, Burns, and Bruises in Harry Potter," in Neil Mulholland (ed.), The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived (Dallas: Benbella Books, 2006), pp. 189-206; see also Michael Gerber, Barry Trotter and the Unnecessary Sequel (London: Gollancz, 2003).

80 Bärbel G. Renner, Kommunikationspolitik im Kinderbuchmarkt. Eine empirische Untersuchung zu den kommunikationspolitischen Maánahmen von Kinderbuchverlagen im Kontext des Marketing-Mix (München: Peniope, 2006). For the German distribution of Harry Potter see the German publisher Carlsen's handbook: Klaus Kämpfe-Burghardt and Marianne Ohmann (eds.), Harry Potter: Marketing-Handbuch (Hamburg: Carlsen, 2004).

81 Wirtén, "Global Markets 1970 - 2000: Producers," p. 400.

82 George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society (Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press, rev. ed. 2004). On Disney's influence see Sharon Zukin, The Cultures of Cities (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), pp. 49-77.

83 Josh Getlin and Martha Groves, "Potter's Retail Profits are Illusory," Los Angeles Times (16 July 2007) ( (retrieved 25 March 2009).