How did Harry Potter and Twilight become so popular?

More specifically what kind of advertising did these author's do that got their books so popular so fast. There are thousands of books out there, even with similar themes...so what did these author's do? I read that initially the Harry Potter books only had a thousand copies out there, with half of them distributed in libraries. Then BAM they sell millions. I have a hard time believing that it's just cause the books are soooo good. Dont get me wrong, Im a fan of Harry Potter (even though Twilight kind of sucked in my opinion) but there are still so many great books out there that werent able to reach the fame that these books did.

What happened? They just became popular so fast that I feel that they did some subtle advertising somehow that got it to sell so much. Like did they get some kid on a famous movie to have the book in a scene and then all of a sudden everyone wanted to read it? Did they somehow advertise it on MTV? U know what I mean? I def think the character development was very nicely done by jk rowling, I just feel like something big happened to kick start the selling of the books. I know it says that after having only 1000 copies out there, it got an award for Children's Book of the Year by the British Book Award. Is that what helped get the name out there?

I just remember being in high school and randomly one day like 10 people had the Twilight book in our class. Like where did that come from?

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I don't know Twilight's story, but you're right about Joanne's story. (J.K. Rowling.) It was a big chance to publish the first book, so only 1000 copies. Half went to libraries. One went to a Hollywood production office and laid in a pile of books to check out by some assistant/secretary... someone related to the producer. She didn't think much of it, so gave it to her 10 year old to read. (Can't remember if the 10 y.o. was a boy or girl.) Guess the reaction of the kid. You got it. He/she got so excited, that Mom had to check it out. Same thing happened in the libraries across the UK. Kid's word-of-mouth got adults checking out the story closer.

    It really is a great story. It's got everything any kid or any adult wants from a good novel. Better yet - a SERIES! It just doesn't get better than that. Hollywood got interested, reporters found out it was coming on film - probably noticing that because their kids wanted to know - and the rest is history.

    Personally, if I were in charge of a YA publisher's slush pile, I'd glance through to see what my kids might like and then pawn those choices off to the kids. If the kid throws it out, it's worth throwing out. If not, chances are good it's something.

    Kid's books are the stuff of legends. Get a kid interested in a book, and the world beats a path to that book. Kids aren't often interested in adult books, but adults can get interested in kid's books. Think about it - the most profitable movies of the last 20-30 years were all for kids.

    Added after reading other responses:

    Ah, bummer. I hoped someone knew Twilight's story. Instead others just gave what they felt, instead of answering from knowledge.

    I'm writing my first novel. It's the first of a seven novel MG (middle grade) urban fantasy, so I've studied the important stuff to brace myself for this path. I'm writing a series, because I admire Joann's series. She taught me how to write something kids will like, although my story has nothing to do with what she did other than we both start with characters in the MG range (8-12 years old.) To prepare for the assumed rejections when I first query for publications, I've researched what other famous authors went through. These are things I remember:

    - Stephen King's first 4 novels were rejected completely. His fifth went something like Rowlings's - real iffy whether to accept it, (in his case the person who accepted it was laughed at by his colleagues), book end up in a Hollywood type hand and they decided to make it into a movie. The book was "Carrie."

    - Beatrix Potter gave up trying to get her story published, so self-published. After that book (The Tale of Peter Rabbit) became famous, a publisher convinced her to sign up.

    - The record for the most rejections for a book that became a classic is 114 times. (Can't remember which book that was, but it was over 100 years ago.)

    - Herman Melville died broke and laughed at for his crappy book, because it became a classic - Moby Dick.

    I learned Rowling's story to brace for my future. She was rejected less than a dozen times, before someone got brave. Getting published is hard work with a need to check ego at the door and the knowledge we can't give up. What became of her happened simply because her book was at the right place at the right moment. That's my goal - work hard and then work at getting it noticed. lol

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  • 8 years ago

    This is the age of social media and sexy vampires and young adults. I think S. Meyer capitalized on it and got lucky. The book had been out for I believe 4 years prior to picking up steam, but she blazed hot because vampire novels were more than racing up the booklists. Teenage girls and then their mothers and female relatives loved them and passed Twilight around like it was a new religion which simply brought more attention to other vampire romance novels.

    H. P. wasn't just a success because of the great writing but because Rowling allowed her own personal story to become a part of the H.P. publicity train. With only 1000 copies she wasn't able to make the impact she had hoped for but with the books in the library kids had more access and so did the parents. Learning about her and how she did the magic she did simply created an audience that waited with baited breath for each new release.

    The market for any product can be finicky. You have similar things on the market but it isn't until something stands out to make it more visible that the tidal wave comes.

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  • 8 years ago

    The herd mentality that so many people subscribe to in modern times. Think about how many people ask you if you saw a TV programme or a football match every day. The phenomenon you describe is the same. Advertising, and those stupid enough to obey it is also a large factor in the decisions these people make.

    Don't be like them. You don't have to have blue hair or dress like an idiot to be an individual, you just have to decide what you want - not what others tell you you want.

    P.S. Misusing the word "like" is a symptom, but it's not too late. ;-)

    Source(s): My life.
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Harry potter is a wonderful series and it was inevitably destined for greatness. I think when books turn into movies, it becomes even more successful. In the case of twilight, the series also had a huge following (probably due to word of mouth from teenage girls who hadn't even kissed a boy)and when the movies came out they all went crazy. Harry Potter will be remembered forever for its genious. The Twilight craze will eventually fade away because its beloved tweenage audience will eventually grow up and realise that its not worth remembering.

    Source(s): My own thoughts
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  • 8 years ago

    "all of the copies sold out"

    it's as simple as that. people bought these books and were renting them from libraries so much that they were forced to make more.

    once the book amount reached so many they were known as best sellers. then they started getting advertised on t.v and then they made movies which brought them up to millions of copies.

    And people are still buying these books

    hope i helped :)

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