A new “Harry Potter” – even nearly a decade after the release of the seventh volume, the news caused hearts to beat faster among the fantasy series’ vast community of fans. The hype continues unbroken, and even the fact that “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is not a novel, but a theater script written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, did not stop the rush for the book. For instance, the print run for the German edition, which has been on sale in bookshops since Sep 19, has surged from the scheduled initial print run of 150,000 copies to 800,000 copies, much to the delight of GGP Media, a Bertelsmann Printing Group company that was able to secure the “Harry Potter” contract for the Pößneck site again. GGP Media had also printed previous volumes under strict security precautions and amid great media interest.
“We are all delighted to be part of this great project,” says Susanne Korn, Customer Service Manager Germany at GGP Media. “It was a big challenge to produce this large a print run in such a short time. We needed every helping hand we could get to do it, but everything worked sensationally well.” GGP Media printed the 800,000 books in the very short period of ten working days, so that they could be delivered on time for release on Sep 19. “That was a bit of magic for the customer, too,” says Korn.
1,190 pallets of ‘Potter’
The colleagues in Pößneck started printing the book pages on Sep 1. By Sep 6, finished books were already coming off the production lines. The 800,000 books were eventually shipped to retailers throughout Germany on 1,190 pallets. The phone lines at the service provider GGP Media, too, ran hot in the lead-up to the publication: “Two or three days beforehand, we had a lot of calls from the press,” says Angelika Wetzel, the Customer Service Manager who is supervising the order. “Communication on this sort of job differs greatly from the usual.” However, this time the customer did not impose more stringent safety precautions. “But we didn’t make a huge announcement about having won the order, which is why the media hype didn’t start until just before the release.”
Eying the million-copy mark
Colleagues at the Bertelsmann Printing Group in the U.S. had made the start: As reported, Coral Graphics printed all the covers for the long-awaited continuation of the “Potter” saga. To produce a title like Harry Potter is a big deal for everyone involved, says Korn: “Not only we, but also our customers are excited and happy about the success if everything goes well.” Meanwhile, the order has grown again: 100,000 more copies have already come off the printing presses. “We might pass the million mark again with the Xmas business,” says Korn, hopefully. “GGP Media is ready in any case!”