The WSJ says Rowling “polishing”:
- Don’t worry — the next Harry Potter is just around the corner.
Author J.K. Rowling said in an interview that she has completed the bones of her long-awaited fifth book, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” and is in the process of tweaking and polishing. She said she is satisfied with the work she has produced and has written a beginning, middle and ending.
Ms. Rowling attributed the delay on this latest book to exhaustion from her last book, the distractions of fame, the length of the manuscript and changes in her personal life. The best-selling author, who remarried last December and has a nine-year-old daughter, added that she is four months pregnant.
Ms. Rowling declined to set a date when she will submit the manuscript to her publishers, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC in Britain and Scholastic Inc. in the U.S., but she didn’t contradict a suggestion that the work could be submitted within three to six months. “When will I hand it in? I don’t want to say, but it won’t be very long,” she said. Once the manuscript is submitted and thoroughly edited, Ms. Rowling’s publishers could issue a finished book in as little as 2½ months.
One reason delivery hasn’t been faster: The manuscript is very long — as long as the 734-page volume that preceded it. “Book five is frankly huge,” said Ms. Rowling, 37 years old. “I said when I published ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ that I needed to take a bit of time out. When I got halfway through, I found a mammoth hole, and I had to go back to the beginning and rewrite. And because we had set July 8th  as the publication date, I needed to get it done. But it half killed me.”
The timetable for the next Harry Potter is of interest not only to millions of readers but also to a giant business infrastructure dependent on the franchise. Bloomsbury and Scholastic are publicly traded companies, and the fortunes — and stock prices — of each have been bouyed by Potter-related revenue. AOL Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. film unit, which is releasing its second Harry Potter movie in November and has the rights to the other two books and options on future titles, also has a stake in the series’ continuation.
Ms. Rowling’s four published titles have sold an estimated 175 million copies world-wide in hard and soft cover, and the books have been published in at least 43 languages.
Please see this post for more on Rowling.