Though I love Harry I am somewhat leery of J.K. Rowling (there's something unseemly about her tarting up on the way to becoming a billionaire) and certainly don't have the time or interest in solving some damn riddles on her website in order to get the fresh poop on the sixth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which will be published July 16, 2005 according to a joint announcement from Rowling's publishers Bloomsbury (UK) and Scholastic (US).
Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing in the United Kingdom and Barbara Marcus, President of Scholastic Children's Books in the United States, said: "We are delighted to announce the publication date. J.K. Rowling has written a brilliant story that will dazzle her fans in a marvellous book that takes the series to yet greater heights. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince delivers all the excitement and wonder of her bestselling Harry Potter novels."
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince takes up the story of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at this point as "Voldemort’s power and followers are increasing day by day, in the midst of this battle of good and evil."
The author has already said that the Half-Blood Prince is neither Harry nor Voldemort, but I am unclear as to whether the prince in question is in need of a visit to the blood bank, or if he has all the blood he needs but only half of it is royal.
Talk about putting all your eggs in one dishwater-blonde basket, check out the financial news:
- Shares of UK publisher Bloomsbury surged on the news, up over 8 percent to hit a new high of 296 pence. Scholastic stock rose $1.26, or 3.5 percent, to $37.19 in morning trade on the Nasdaq after touching $37.55, its highest since early 2003.
Robert Skloff, an analyst at Sidoti & Co. in New York, said he expects the new Harry Potter instalment to add about $195 million to $200 million in additional revenue for Scholastic in its fiscal 2006 year, which begins in June. That compares with about $180 million in Harry Potter sales in fiscal 2004, when the last book was released.
The fifth book in the series, published after a three-year gap in 2003, made publishing history by selling 5 million copies within 24 hours. More than a quarter of a billion Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide in 60 languages ranging from Gujarati to Ancient Greek.