Now that all of the Harry Potter books by author J.K. Rowling have been turned into highly successful films and now that those books have finally been made available in e-book editions, it is apparently time to go back to the drawing board in order to find new ways of making money from those books. In honor of the 15th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the publisher has announced that all 7 books will be reissued with new cover artwork … which staunchly loyal Harry Potter fans will likely purchase, again. Click below to get your first look at the new cover art for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and learn more about this new set of reissued books.
On Wednesday, J.K. Rowling’s American publisher, Scholastic, unveiled a new cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first of seven new covers that will appear on paperback editions of the series in September. The new covers, each focusing on a scene from that novel, are designed by Kazu Kibuishi, author and illustrator of the graphic novel series Amulet. Their release will mark the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Sorcerer’s Stone, which started the series that went on to sell 450 million copies worldwide. In an interview, Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing, says the new covers aren’t meant to replace the original ones by Mary GrandPré, which still will be used on hardcovers and less expensive mass-market paperback editions. But, he says, “we thought it was time for a fresh approach” for the trade paperbacks “as of a way of attracting the interest of a new generation of 8- and 9-year-olds who may know Harry mostly through the movies” … In a statement released by Scholastic, Kibuishi, who was born in Tokyo and immigrated to the USA as a child, says that GrandPré’s covers “are so fantastic and iconic” that “when I was asked to submit samples, I initially hesitated because I didn’t want to see them reinterpreted. However, I felt that if I were to handle the project, I could bring something to it that many other designers and illustrators probably couldn’t, and that was that I was also a writer of my own series of middle-grade fiction. As an author myself, I tried to answer the question, ‘If I were the author of the books — and they were like my own children — how would I want them to be seen years from now?’ When illustrating the covers, I tried to think of classic perennial paperback editions of famous novels and how those illustrations tend to feel. In a way, the project became a tribute to both Harry Potter and the literary classics.”
You gotta admit, this set of reissued books with new cover art does smell a LOT like a cheap ploy to make more money by reselling the same books to fans but honestly, I don’t think I care all that much. Collectors enjoy having things to collect and if someone wants to own multiple copies of their favorite books, why shouldn’t be allowed to do so? The Harry Potter book series is so beloved by so many people, I can understand why the publisher would want to celebrate the 15th anniversary release of the first book in this way. And, let’s not forget, there are young children growing into book-reading age every single day … those kids will be procuring their own books, why not offer them fresh cover artwork? I, personally, feel no need to rebuy all of the books but I know that some fans will feel the need. Are you one of those fans? Will you be buying this set of reissued Harry Potter books with new cover art?