Joie (hymnia) wrote,

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An interesting tidbit on the HBP back cover blurb; HBP filter

Mugglenet has posted a small news item about the back cover blurb for HBP. Don't worry, it's not spoilery.

Looking for the synopsis on the back side of the HBP jackets?

US and UK publishers Scholastic and Bloomsbury have informed us that this time, they won't be releasing images of the back of the Half-Blood Prince jackets until July 16th because they reveal important plot details. In 2003, pictures of the back jackets were released, so this is a new strategy for them. Usually the summary on the back is printed to encourage people to read the book without giving away the story.

(Bold mine.)

I find it pretty odd that the publishers consider the back cover to be, well, too spoilery to share beforehand. After all, most readers will look at the back cover before reading the book, anyway. What is there to hide? Like the article said, cover blurbs are usually designed to give hints about the plot, without really giving anything away about the story. So...what's different this time? Why the change of policy?

A couple of ideas:

1. They know they have a captive audience of spoiler hos, and they like jerking our chains.
2. They like maintaining the mystique as long as possible, as with holding back on revealing the title of previous books.
3. Mugglenet is misinformed. Either we will be getting the blurb, but not as soon as we expect, or we will get the blurb, but not the back cover artwork, which is actually the spoilery part. (Although, if it were the latter, why Bloomsbury, too? Do the UK editions have back cover artwork? Even if they do, it surely won't show the same plot details as the US back cover, right?)

There is something that the back cover gives away which might not be a big deal to casual readers, but will be to the kind of hard core fans who will seek out the blurb beforehand. I have a little theory about what such a thing could be, but I admit it's CRAXy. That is to say, I always hate it when shippers assume X non-shippy piece of info leads to Y shippy conculsion (like saying JKR's qoute about no one having guessed "one thing" means that Harry's going to fall in love with someone totally unexpected, just because she was talking about theories about "unusual pairings" right before that). But, I confess the first thought that leapt into my mind after reading this (okay, second, after "Hey! What?! NO FAIR, NO FAIR, NO FAIR!!11!!!!!!11! We wants it, yesss, precious! We NEEEEEDSS it.") was, "Hmm...the GoF blurb mentions Harry's crush on Cho. What if the HBP mentions, just in passing, something shippy? Wouldn't that be exactly the sort of thing that wouldn't mean much to the casual reader just browsing the book store shelves and glancing at the back cover, but WOULD mean quite a bit to obsessed fans?" And JKR knows this, so her publishers probably have some idea of it, too.

I know, it's probably a silly theory and I don't really have much basis for it, but...there it is.

Also, I guess I'd better make an HBP speculation filter. Comment here to let me know whether or not to put you on it. I will mention whatever spoilers I read (I'm somewhere between a no-gal and a go-gal when it comes to spoilers), but will still cut and warn even on the filter. I don't plan to make any more HBP-related posts between now and a few days after the release that aren't on the filter, so spoiler virgins (hee), if you're not on the filter, my journal should be safe for you. Spoiler hos, comment to be added. I won't make any assumptions. If you don't comment, you're not on the filter.


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