Friday, July 20, 2007

Comparing Potter Launches

It's a few minutes before midnight and I'm at my third Harry Potter launch party. We did see two vans from TV stations set up to do live feeds from Barnes and Nobles. I asked Jason at the counter.. he said that this particular store in an upper class neighborhood got singled out for several other stories "because we're the biggest chain"

Jason is scheduled to stay until 4am cleaning up the store. It's very weird to go back the next morning, see all the normal looking store with plenty of copies of the book available and wonder "how do they keep falling for this?"

Not much to get excited about.. but I do hope to snag a video clip of the midnight minute.

More important is the contrasts between the events I'm seeing tonight, the event I witnessed last time a Potter book came out, and the "normal" bookstore crowd.

Here's my take-aways...
  1. This launch will be the biggest yet. Many more locations, more noise, more costumes and larger crowds. (I was able to get to three with a short drive)
  2. My local Borders wins hands down (internet connection and a real contest for who gets to buy first)
  3. People still read. Despite a lot of noise, there are hundreds here doing just that
  4. Kids still love books. (Take that you the future is all ebooks folks)
  5. There is always room for more creativity. This craze will be replaced by the next.
  6. Fiction sells. (I get asked all the time if book promotion methods I teach work for fiction)

What will be next? There is no doubt in my mind that an eighth Potter book would sell well, and there will likely be derivative products in the Potter line for years to come. (maybe no more Potter books.. but my bet would be spin-offs for sure)

Whether they come up with more doesn't matter much. No, there is a larger lesson here. No matter what you're selling, the market is far from saturated. As long as we are creative, there is much more of this to come.

Like the Self-Help section I just walked past.. there was a book that promised to change my life in 30 days.. right next to one that said I could change anything in 21 days. (Funny I though 7 days was the magic number)

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