Don’t cheat and skip ahead to the pictures!
The following is the final paragraph of the galley letter for WHAT very popular book:
“I predict you’ll also face another quandary: whether to share this with a friend, or to keep it for yourself, knowing how much this Reader’s Edition of __________’s first book will be worth in years to come.”
Here’s another clue. The galley letter is signed by Arthur Levine…
Written for a debut novel that his eponymous imprint at Scholastic purchased for $100,000…
And this galley mailing happened in the summer of 1998…
Being brilliant and super knowledgeable about publishing lore (as all regular readers of the DGLM blog are), I’m sure you’ve guessed that this mystery title is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I learned all this delightful trivia from The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, an exhibit at the New York Public Library’s historic Bryant Park branch (yes, the one with the lions out front). The Harry Potter area caught my eye, as I am currently in the middle of a delightful re-read of the series, which I only read for the first time a few years ago. (I know, I know, hush!)
Now it’s no secret that I’m a sucker for children’s books. And the exhibit area was full of artifacts from other children’s literature. You can stop by and see the original Winnie-the-Pooh plushies that inspired A.A. Milne or Frances Hodgson Burnett’s handwritten manuscript for The Secret Garden. One display discusses classic NYC-themed children’s lit (hooray for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!), and there’s even a Goodnight Moon reading nook with battered library copies of all your favorite picture books. Quite a few families were curled up on the rainy Sunday afternoon that I visited, and I was tempted to grab a Wild Thing and join them.