Beyond magic: the marketing strategy of Harry Potter

April 23 is both William Shakespeare’s birthday and World Book Day. In terms of best-selling books, you cannot ignore the magic power of Harry Potter that has been sold over 400 million copies worldwide in 64 languages. Beside its storyline, what made Harry Potter gain immense popularity?

Based on some articles, there were several key factors that made it successful. For example, J.K. Rowling, the author, was opened and engaged to both the promotion and the production of Harry Potter’s movies and other campaigns. Her compelling personal story was story of a single mother trying to support herself and her baby through her writing was nearly as well-known as her books. Another interesting strategy was the different book covers (including adults’ version and children’s version) created for different target audiences in different countries.


We heard the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But when deciding which books we want to pick up, most of us will admit that sometimes we do judge books by their covers. The cover design can both capture the spirit of the book and make the book more appealing to catch customers’ eyes to read the contents.

There are several reasons to create varied book covers (and titles) for different audiences. First, different age groups have different preference and different countries have different markets. To attract more customers, book cover can be a way to satisfy customers’ preference in order to increase their willingness to pay. It can also force adults to classify themselves to buy different books for them and their children due to the images of different covers. In addition, for die-hard fans, they are willing to purchase and collect the different covers.

However, some people critique that redesigning book covers is that publishers are tapping into a larger, more worrying desire for consumers to continually canonize the literature. For customers, it seems to allow the cover to tell half the story and their reading habits.

Although designing varied book covers is somehow controversial with a higher cost, “One fits all” may not a good idea at all because no one book fits every reader, no one cover fits every market.


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