Harry Potter Author Donates Proceeds of New Books to Charity

J. K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter novels, has turned her writing talent to philanthropy, the New York Times reports.

Rowling's publishers, Scholastic in the United States and Bloomsbury in Britain, are releasing two new pocket-size books Rowling wrote to raise money for Comic Relief, a British charity that raises money for children's organizations through a telethon and the sale of merchandise.

Publishers, printers, and bookstores involved in the production and sale of the books, "Quidditch Through the Ages" and "Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them," are contributing their services for free or at reduced cost. The books, which Rowling wrote in about a month, will retail for $3.99, with Comic Relief receiving $3 for every copy sold. The initial print run of 12 million copies is expected to yield more than $36 million for the organization -- the largest single donation in its history.

"That is pretty spectacular when you think that it is just one woman typing in Edinburgh," said Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis.

David Kirkpatrick. "2 Harry Potter Spinoffs Done for Charity" New York Times 03/12/2001.