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Does J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, deserve to be a billionaire?

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Does J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, deserve to be a billionaire?

Old 07-17-05, 02:50 PM
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Does J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, deserve to be a billionaire?

Does J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, deserve to be a billionaire?

Please answer "yes" or "no" in your response, and please explain why you chose that answer.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...rypotter_dc_13

Potter fatigue hits some as book sales tallied

By Mike Collett-White Sun Jul 17, 9:06 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Bookstores checked their tills on Sunday to tally sales of the sixth
Harry Potter installment, but a day after the eagerly awaited global launch the magic was wearing off for some.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is widely expected to be the fastest-selling book in history, with British retailer Waterstone's forecasting that 10 million copies would have been snapped up worldwide during the first 24 hours of trade.

The early feedback was bullish. British book chain WH Smith reported sales of 13 books per second across the 391 shops it opened into the early hours of Saturday, compared with eight per second for the fifth Harry Potter adventure.

The launch, at one minute past midnight British time on Saturday, ended months of hype and elaborate steps to protect the contents of the penultimate chapter in the seven-story saga.

Children poured into book shops across the globe, many dressed as witches, wizards and other favorite Harry Potter characters. Author
J.K. Rowling read from the book at Edinburgh Castle, and she will be interviewed by a young fan on Sunday.

Underlining the anticipation surrounding the book, instant reviews appeared on the Internet within a few hours of the release, and most of them were favorable.

Young readers picked up on the darkness of the plot.

"With its dramatic, violent conclusion, this book is by far the darkest and unsettling HP yet," wrote 12-year-old Indigo Ellis in the Sunday Telegraph. "Maybe it will leave a few more seven-year-olds in tears. But it also makes it the best so far."

A sizeable minority of older readers, however, was less than impressed by the 607-page work.

"It's wordy, flabby and not very well edited -- perhaps a bit less inventive than previous ones," wrote Suzi Feay, literary editor of Britain's The Independent on Sunday. "We could have done with some better gags."

Robert McCrum, writing in the Observer newspaper, said: "The dominant theme of HP6 is the tying up of loose ends in preparation for the final volume, the fabled HP7."

PRICE WARS

Publishers and retailers will be less concerned about write-ups than sales.

Eyeing a huge marketing opportunity, publishers issued two hardback versions of the book on Saturday, one for adults and another for children.

Supermarkets, Internet stores and book shops engaged in a fierce round of discounting, with one British outlet offering the book to young buyers for 4.99 pounds ($8.80), less than one third of the recommended retail price.

Rowling has been credited with winning over a new generation of young readers. British newspapers predict that her fortune, already estimated at $1 billion, was set to grow by 20 to 25 million pounds as a result of the first-day sales alone.

"In these days of instant, easy celebrity attained by very little actual achievement, J.K. Rowling is a refreshing exception," wrote the Sunday Mirror tabloid.

For some, though, Sunday was about bursting the bubble of hype and secrecy surrounding the biggest book launch retailers around the world can remember.

When a handful of copies were sold before the deadline in Canada, purchasers were ordered not to disclose its contents, and, according to media reports, even to read it.

"Oh for a timely spell of reality," Roland White wrote in the Sunday Times.

"Let's keep things in perspective," he added. "Until Friday, the Harry Potter series had sold about 270 million copies worldwide. Which is considerably less than the one billion shifted by the late, rather unfashionable, Barbara Cartland."
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Old 07-17-05, 02:53 PM
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Yes. She could write "101 ways to wipe your ass" for all I care as long as people out there buy her books then she deserves whatever money she gets.
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Old 07-17-05, 02:54 PM
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Old 07-17-05, 02:59 PM
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Yes. How can you argue with anything that gets kids that excited about reading and is of reasonable quality. Have you considered a poll?

Basic rule of capitalism: He who appeals to the marketplace gets wealthy. It is not about "deserving" anything.
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Old 07-17-05, 03:09 PM
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A poll would have been a good idea. I forgot that you can do that here.

But I was more interested in reading people's opinions, anyway.
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Old 07-17-05, 03:22 PM
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Here's a Forbes article that breaks down her income.

I don't know if you can say she does or does not deserve it. I've never read the Potter books, but it does seem amazing that she is the first billion dollar author based on a single series.
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Old 07-17-05, 03:22 PM
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Thanks to the administrator who just added the poll.

But I wanted this to be a political discussion, not a book discussion. I see you moved it from the politcal forum to the book forum. But you're the boss!
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Old 07-17-05, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by wmansir
Here's a Forbes article that breaks down her income.

I don't know if you can say she does or does not deserve it. I've never read the Potter books, but it does seem amazing that she is the first billion dollar author based on a single series.
Thanks for the article!
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Old 07-17-05, 03:27 PM
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My answer is yes, because people chose to give their money to her when they chose to buy the books.
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Old 07-17-05, 03:28 PM
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I'm just waiting to hear the logic behind voting no.
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Old 07-17-05, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockmjd23
I'm just waiting to hear the logic behind voting no.
Me too. Who would possibly vote No?
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Old 07-17-05, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockmjd23
I'm just waiting to hear the logic behind voting no.
That's why I started this thread, and why I put it in the political forum. There are plenty of people who favor legislation of a maximum income. I'd like to hear their arguments.
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Old 07-17-05, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
That's why I started this thread, and why I put it in the political forum. There are plenty of people who favor legislation of a maximum income. I'd like to hear their arguments.
"Plenty" is probably an exageration. While there are plenty of people who favor a graduated income tax with higher rates for upper brackets, there are very few people who favor a 100% bracket (or anything close to it for that matter).
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Old 07-17-05, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
Who would possibly vote No?
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Old 07-17-05, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
Thanks to the administrator who just added the poll.

But I wanted this to be a political discussion, not a book discussion. I see you moved it from the politcal forum to the book forum. But you're the boss!

I moved it to the book forum because you just posted an article about the sales of the book and a poll question (although I guess someone else added the poll is what you are saying). There didn't seem to be much of a reason for it to be in the political forum since no political context was given..
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Old 07-17-05, 04:36 PM
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So the poll was added by "someone." That's interesting.

The moderators can move the thread to wherever they believe is best. I can always start a new political thread without posting the Harry Potter article. Maybe in a few days. X told me not to start too many threads in any one day, and he's right.
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Old 07-17-05, 04:50 PM
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Yup. She deserves it, and her agent, editors, publishers, and publicists deserve a huge chunk, too. I think there are series out there that don't do as well as HP financially, but are just as good (hence, my belief that she has awesome support ). This is a market driven society though, and since she wrote great stories and knew how to sell them, good for her.
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Old 07-17-05, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
So the poll was added by "someone." That's interesting.
I added the poll.
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Old 07-17-05, 07:36 PM
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Yes. I don't see why not. Her books are great, appeal to people of all ages, and has children more excited about reading then i've never seen in my life time, which is a fantastic thing. You go girl!
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Old 07-17-05, 07:41 PM
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Of course. She's created massive amounts of wealth for her publisher and tens of thousands of bookstore companies, who can then afford to hire on more people. Besides that, as others have said, anything that gets kids to excited about reading is fantastic in my book.
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Old 07-17-05, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
There are plenty of people who favor legislation of a maximum income.
I've actually never heard of this before. Why would anyone feel that way? I'm betting they are hippie communists that know they are never going to get rich so they feel noone else should.

If some retarted law did get passed, why would people feel motivated to work beyond the level that gets them to that point? Why should they put in the effort if it won't get them some reward?

JKR has earned her money and deserves every penny she makes. She used her own tallent to write these books that are loved across the world by kids and adults alike. As others have said, it takes something special to get kids and adults this excited about a book (a huge book at that).

I even say that because of these books, she should earn a place amoung the worlds greatest authors along with Twain, Dickins and the others. They wrote books loved by people so no reason a modern author can't join their ranks.
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Old 07-17-05, 08:32 PM
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Think about it, based on just the 10.8 million books shipped, that's over $300 million retail, and probably around $200 million in discounted sales, that's amazing for the first week of a book's release.
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Old 07-17-05, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
That's why I started this thread, and why I put it in the political forum. There are plenty of people who favor legislation of a maximum income. I'd like to hear their arguments.
I've never heard any propose a maximum income. How could they tax them more then?

The reason for voting no is pretty obvious though (I voted yes). The simple reason is that some probably feel JK Rowling is a crappy author with manufactured popularity while much better authors works are ignored or go unpublished and never receive any fame. It's the reason I don't think Britney Spears deserves to be a millionaire.

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Old 07-17-05, 09:20 PM
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Since when does talent always equal success? Whether she's a crappy author or not, that is still a horrible argument. People buy her books, thus she deserves her cut. If you are the best writer in the world, and nobody reads you, so what? A work actually has to be at least somewhat read to be influential.
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Old 07-17-05, 09:33 PM
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yep

Yes. She could write "101 ways to wipe your ass" for all I care as long as people out there buy her books then she deserves whatever money she gets.
Ditto

There are plenty of people who favor legislation of a maximum income.
Yes and there will always be lazy people who think that the producers of society owe them a living. Socialism, Communism, whatever ism you try to level the playing field does not work.

Often Capatilism is cold and cruel, unfair and sometimes plain evil, but it is the only system that has proven to work.
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