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What of the Harry Potter Offshoots?

The question is very much on the minds of many who follow everything related to Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling and the WSJ’s Jeff Trachtenberg asks the question in more detail. With the final volume in the series slated for publication on July 21, will it mean that few additions will be made to the more than 190 Potter-related titles in print and the thousands of fan fiction pieces? Perhaps, but that won’t stop some. “My suspicion is that there will be a rush of books after the series ends,” says Daniel Nexon, an assistant professor in the government department at Georgetown University who co-edited HARRY POTTER AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, published last year by Rowman & Littlefield. “Having the final book out will generate a lot of buzz, and they’ll look at that frenzy as one last big marketing opportunity.”

But that flurry will eventually slow as time passes. “We’ll probably see fewer titles. The energy that comes from a release of a new book in the series will be over,” says Roger Scholl, the editorial director of Bertelsmann AG’s Currency/Doubleday business imprint, who edited Tom Morris‘s IF HARRY POTTER RAN GENERAL ELECTRIC. Still, some caution against underestimating the passion of Harry Potter readers. John Granger, an English teacher at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pa., says academics will attempt to fix Rowling’s place in the cultural firmament, much as they continue to do so for such writers as Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie. “I’m fairly certain Potter-mania will not go the way of disco and the hula-hoop,” says Granger, who is currently working on HARRY MEETS HAMLET AND SCROOGE that will explore Harry’s literary antecedents.

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