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...this is not the post for you, because I'm about to let JK Rowling have it.

Someone seriously needs to sit the woman down and explain "book promotion" and "good review in the NY Times, effects thereon" to her. Yes, I realize nothing that woman writes for the rest of her natural life, down to and including her shopping list, will ever require any kind of promotion again, amen, but it's the freaking New York Times and they really, truly didn't set out to spoil the books.

Here are my premises:

1. Leaving "book promotion" and "good review in NY Times, effects thereon" aside, I must question how much of JK Rowling's target audience reads the book section of the Gray Lady.

2. With a hearty "good for you, kids!" to all the people in the target audience who do read the NY Times Book Reviews, I must now ask how many "I will kill you if you so much as breathe a word with respect to the question of whether Harry Potter appears in a book bearing his name"-class spoilerphobes are reading reviews of the book before they finish devouring the thing.

3. With a "what kind of instigating, ass-showing troll are you?" to that class of spoilerphobe listed above, I must asked that of the people who read the NYT Book Review and who do not wish to be spoiled for the book past a certain point, how many would read past a certain point in The NY Times Book Review of Deathly Hallows, the the link to which should not be clicke, followed or possibly even looked at sidewise by spoilerphobes of any stripe because frankly I don't care to see your cyberwhining.

Including, actually, the authoress's:
Rowling 'staggered' by Deathly Hallows review IN WHICH IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT AT LEAST ONE OF THE TWO SPOILERS THAT STAGGERED HER ARE MENTIONED.

A note on the spoilers for the incurably curious: the first spoiler from the NYT, also mentioned in the Ozzie article, didn't bother me in the least and, should be noted, calls into question what series anyone shocked by it has been reading all this time.

The second spoiler in the NYT review is a bit more problematic, though I do not feel it will inhibit my enjoyment of the book in any way. Of course, nothing short of "Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father" really bothers me.

The spoiler that didn't bother me, and why.
About half a dozen people we have come to know over the course of the series...die. Yes. That's what the review said. People we know die in this book, unlike Sirius or Dumbledore or Cedric, none of whom we knew well or cared about at all.

And now, NOT the spoiler that bothered me, but why it did:

By way of explaining what the title refers to, the review reveals a plot point that maybe they might should have kept under their hats? Possibly? I have trouble coming down hard on the side of spoilerphobes (whom I still doubt are reading anything to do with the book until they've actually read the book) because the thing itself is what? over 700 pages long? And I have a hard time believing the [mmm] to [mmmm] which therefore explains the [mmmm] is going to wreck the whole thing ZOMG.

But that could just be me.

I guess my bottom line is that it grinds my gears for Rowling to pour gas on the fires of spoilerphobia, which is already something of an irksome puzzle to me in its extreme presentations, when a non-instigating, non-ass-showing, non-troll-like spoilerphobe isn't doing the reading. No, the NYT didn't skip around with "spoilers ahead!", but they did label the review for what it is and that, in my opinion, ought to be warning enough for people who want to know nothing beyond the release date for the book.

Date: 2007-07-20 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] forlornhope42.livejournal.com
but it's the freaking New York Times and they really, truly didn't set out to spoil the books.

Question: do they only do book reviews on certain days? If not, how would it have harmed them to wait until Saturday?

Date: 2007-07-20 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] justalurkr.livejournal.com
I don't know, now that you mention it. The closest I come to the NYT is their bestseller list in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and any NYT reviews the AJC cribs for its own use. Also, am not sure if I count as a target audience member for the series. ;)

One thing I forgot to tuck into the rant, however, is a passing mention in the review that they bought the book yesterday, the same one that is not supposed to be available until the crack of midnight, Saturday, and that I have to wonder if her real complaint is that the book was available on an unequal basis.

And, wait to publish news that moves papers? That harms them all deeply in that line of work. The scoop's the thing, apparently. It wouldn't surprise me to find out their are people at the NYT disappointed because JKR's reaction wasn't all they'd hoped. The more outraged people are, the higher the circulation numbers.

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