Is it foolhardy for any publisher to compete head-to-head with the juggernaut that is HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS? Well, according to the Bookseller, Serpent’s Tail has no plans to get out of J.K. Rowling‘s way when it releases an adult-oriented “anti-Hogwarts” novel at the same time as the final Harry Potter at midnight on July 19th. Danny King‘s SCHOOL FOR SCUMBAGS takes place in a boarding school, but instead of learning magic, boys learn thievery. “It’s Harry Potter on crack,” the publisher said. Inspiration for the midnight launch will be taken from the book and is being kept “under wraps”. “The subscription won’t be as big, but we expect to outsell HP7 by Christmas,” said publisher Pete Ayrton, using a very liberal definition of “outsell”, I suppose.
In other Potter-related news, Bloomsbury has rebutted reports that HP7 will be delivered in containers fastened with steel chains, and remains tight-lipped over the company’s security plans. “Of course we’ll clamp down, we always do, [but] it’s just too sensitive to talk about,” said project manager Sarah Beal. And for those with a poetic bent, check out Abebooks.com’s Harry Potter Poetry Contest, giving entrants a chance to win an exclusive bookshelf constructed from Harry Potter books.