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Book sale ‘delight’ for JK Rowling

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has said she is “delighted” her latest book has made £4m for charity.

Proceeds from the sale of The Tales Of Beedle The Bard – which went on sale on 4 December – is being donated to the Children’s High Level Group (CHLG).

“All royalties will be going to help children without families, many of them with disabilities, whose voices have been unheard for many years,” she said.

The book is on course to become this year’s best seller.

The collection of fairytales has shifted close to 370,000 copies in its first week on sale.

“I am absolutely delighted that so much money has been raised,” Rowling said.

“I would like to thank everyone who has so far purchased a copy of the book.”

The CHLG is a charity co-founded by Rowling to help vulnerable children across Central and Eastern Europe.

A spokesman from Nielson BookScan, the company that compiles book sales figures, said Beedle was currently second in the book chart, but could be number one by Christmas.

“Linwood Barclay’s No time for Goodbye is currently number one, but that is very likely to change by the end of the week,” he said.

However, The Tales Of Beedle The Bard failed to break Rowling’s record of fastest selling book in the UK in a week and in a single day.

The fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, still holds that title.

The tales were first mentioned in the seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

CHLG’s Richard Alderslade said: “The project will certainly raise a huge amount to fund our work, giving hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children across Central and Eastern Europe a better life.

“Each time someone opens a copy of Beedle this Christmas or gives it as a gift, they will be making a difference to the life of a vulnerable child living not so very many miles away.”

BBC News

Fairytale launch for Rowling book

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has read from her newly released book of fairy tales to schoolchildren in Edinburgh.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard were first mentioned in Rowling’s previous book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The book was originally conceived as a limited edition, handwritten “labour of love” to be given to six close friends.

After a seventh copy fetched almost £2m at auction, though, the author decided to publish the collection and give the proceeds to a children’s charity.

“There was quite a lot of feeling from Harry Potter fans that only someone who had £2 million could afford to read the book,” she said on Thursday.

“I thought fair point, so I thought I’ll publish it and then the charity can have that money too.”

More than seven million copies have been printed in 28 languages, with some retailers tipping it to become the year’s biggest seller.

Reviews have been positive, with the Times describing it as “a perfect Christmas treat ideal to slip in any stocking.”

The Telegraph said the book “would barely satisfy Potter fanatics for more than half an hour” but said it contains “some nice touches”.

Proceeds from its sale will go to Children’s High Level Group (CHLG), a charity raising money for vulnerable children across Eastern Europe.

At a tea party held at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, Rowling read from one of the seven handwritten copies of the book.

The tome had been borrowed from Barry Cunningham, JK Rowling’s first editor – one of only six people to receive an original Beedle as a personal gift last year.

“They were people who had been with me all along so it was a great thing to do,” the author told BBC Scotland’s Pauline McLean.

The seventh copy was acquired by the online retailer Amazon for £1.95m when it was put up for auction in December 2007.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is the volume of fairy tales left to Hermione Granger by Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the seventh and final book of the Harry Potter series.

The tales contained clues that were to prove crucial to Harry’s final mission to destroy Lord Voldemort.

Only one of the five stories, The Tale of the Three Brothers, was recounted in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The published edition includes the four remaining tales, translated by Hermione alongside notes by Professor Dumbledore and illustrations by JK Rowling herself.

CHLG was co-founded by JK Rowling and Emma Nicholson MEP.

“We started this charity because there are a lot of children, and I mean hundreds of thousands of children, shut up in institutions,” said the author.

The National Library of Scotland will host a Beedle display containing one of the rare handwritten originals until 4 January.

BBC News

JK Rowling ‘makes £5 every second’

JK Rowling is the world’s highest-earning author, making more than £5 every second over the past year, US business magazine Forbes has announced.

The Harry Potter writer, who made a total of $300m (£170m) last year, wrote the first of her best-selling books about the boy wizard in 1997.

Her income was six times more than literature’s next-biggest earner, James Patterson, of Along Came A Spider fame.

The magazine described her work as “a children’s literary sensation”.

A Forbes spokesman said: “It was wizardry that transformed JK Rowling from a destitute single mother on welfare into a best-selling billionaire.

“Over on the big screen, her Potter franchise has already generated $4.5bn (£2.5bn) at the worldwide box office – and she still has three more flicks to come.”

Since the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published, the series has taken the world by storm.

The books have sold more than 400 million copies and been translated into 67 languages.

The final instalment of the series, Deathly Hallows, has sold 44 million copies since it came out last summer – including 15 million in the first 24 hours, the magazine said.

Elsewhere on the list was horror author Stephen King in third place, followed by Tom Clancy, best known for his 1984 novel The Hunt for Red October.

At number five was Danielle Steel, with John Grisham and Dean Koontz equal in sixth place.

Best-selling author of Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett, was in eighth place, while Janet Evanovich, the writer behind the Stephanie Plum novels, was at number nine.

US writer Nicholas Sparks rounded off the top 10.

TOP 10 BEST-PAID AUTHORS

  1. JK Rowling – $300m (£170m)
  2. James Patterson – $50m (£28m)
  3. Stephen King – $45m (£25m)
  4. Tom Clancy – $35m (£20m)
  5. Danielle Steel – $30m (£17m)
  6. John Grisham – $25m (£14m)
  7. Dean Koontz – $25m (£14m)
  8. Ken Follett – $20m (£11m)
  9. Janet Evanovich – $17m (£10m)
  10. Nicholas Sparks – $16m (£9m)

Source: Forbes magazine

BBC News

JK Rowling honour

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been honoured by the city where she created her world-famous wizard books.

The writer was selected to receive the Edinburgh Award, which last year went to fellow writer Ian Rankin, creator of the popular Rebus series.

A panel of judges from the fields of arts, business and science unanimously voted Rowling as the 2008 winner.

The award was presented at a ceremony in Edinburgh. Rowling said it was “an absolute honour”.

The author, who has sold 400 million books worldwide, said: “Edinburgh is very much home for me and is the place where Harry evolved over seven books and many, many hours of writing in its cafes.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost George Grubb said: “She is a tremendous asset to the city, not least for her writing prowess but also for her philanthropy and the vast amount of support she gives to numerous charities.”

BBC News

In more JK Rowling related news…

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has donated £1m to the Labour Party, the party has announced.

Ms Rowling said she was motivated by Labour’s record on child poverty and opposed a Conservative plan to give tax breaks to married couples.

Her donation will boost Gordon Brown as he tries to calm unrest among party members at Labour’s annual conference.

Mr Brown said he was delighted to have the backing of “one of the world’s greatest ever authors”.

JK Rowling, whose fortune was estimated at £560 million in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, is known to be a personal friend of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah.

The Labour party has seen a surge in funding from private individuals, who donated a total of £3.8m between April and June.

Other high-profile donors to have contributed this year include comedian Eddie Izzard, who gave almost £10,000, and Steve Lazarides, graffiti artist Banksy’s dealer, who gave £120,000.

BBC News

GSFN Show 18: Chowing Down 2, Runny Thirds

Unusually for this podcast show, it’s not brought to you 28 Days Later but sooner as Skip and Drew review not one, not two, not even three but four movies. Expect to hear their thoughts on 28 Weeks Later the sequel to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Last and most excitingly for your hosts, Lee at TLA Releasing UK sent sent Skip and Drew three DVD’s to review, the first being Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds.

Also TLA Releasing UK in conjunction with Gay Sci-Fi Nerds are giving away a copy of HELLBENT (The first ever Gay Slasher film) in Skip and Drew’s first ever competition!

GSFNews includes Battlestar Galactica series ending, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the rumoured end of Martha Jones and Doctor Who. The return of The 4400 and Jericho and yet another 80’s animated series to be turned into a movie franchise.

Joining our regular Wanker of the Week is our first Arsehole of the Week.

Music is provided by Monkeyshine with “Brown Finger Blues”.

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GSFN Show 10: Slappy Bollocks

Skip and Drew talk bollocks as always as we lust over Craig Daniel’s new Bondage role in Casino Royale, Pick a string with Tenacious D and cook up a bit of paella with Pan’s Labyrinth. The show also has a musical feel as Drew explores his spiritual side with the Sing-a-long Sounds of Music and what we thought of The Beautiful South.

News this week includes a death scene for Harry Potter, not much furry loving for Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema in The Hobbit. Linda pulls out her aunt’s pen once more in Supernatural and Xena Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless taking Xena’s voice to new projects. We also have a surprise Wanker of the Week.

Finally Drew and I would like to wish all our listeners a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

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