Earlier this week, the teasing taste of a Harry Potter prequel was auctioned off for almost $50k. The handwritten 800-word treatment was part of a lot of 13 ‘storycards’ by various authors, with JK Rowling’s contribution the obvious star of the group. The charity auction was organized to raise funds for English PEN and Dyslexia Action.
The winning bid came from Hira Digpal, president of Tokyo-based investment-banking consulting company Red-33. He originally had a ceiling bid of $100,000 for the work (and hinted he would have gone higher) — but felt he got a steal at only $50K. That being said, he’s open to working with Rowling’s group to raise even more money for charity using the piece. From the article,
“Digpal, who originally had a closed bid of 50,000 pounds before halving his offer, said he faxed a letter to Rowling’s publisher asking for the author’s cooperation to use the story in a way that would raise more money for charity. He declined to give details of the proposal. ‘Here I am, owning a piece of literary history,” said Digpal in a phone interview from Tokyo. ‘I think I got a bargain. Hopefully, we can raise much more than the sale.'”
JK Rowling has insisted that the 800-word piece of work is not in any way indicative of her ever writing a true prequel or using any of the elements found on the index card. According to the source,the text features a magical car and motorcycle chase involving Harry’s father, and concludes with the teasing words “from the prequel I am not working on –but that was fun!”
“What If?” Potter merchandise from Rowling is big business. Last December, a limited-edition handwritten work titled “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” fetched almost $4 million dollars for her charity The Children’s Voice. We hope even more magic can be conjured for future benefits!