by Michael dEstries
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As expected, Harry Potter author JK Rowling is taking The Tales of Beedle the Bard into mass production. The collection of fairy tales, which was referenced in Deathly Hollows, was initially part of a handwritten set, one of which Rowling auctioned off last December for a record amount of $4 million dollars.

That money went straight to The Children’s High Level Group charity — which was co-founded by Rowling and Baroness Emma Nicholson, a member of Britain’s House of Lords. The organization works to help children suffering in institutions. Now it appears that they are set to benefit again, with Rolwing having already signed over all royalties for the new book. Because, honestly, as the richest celebrity earner last year (she took in $300 million), cash in no longer a worry. Said Rowling,

“There was understandable disappointment among Harry Potter fans when only one copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard was offered to the public last December. I am therefore delighted to announce that, thanks to the generous support of Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Amazon (who bought the handwritten copy at auction) – and with the blessing of the wonderful people who own the other six original books – The Tales of Beedle the Bard will now be widely available to all Harry Potter fans. Royalties will be donated to the Children’s High Level Group, to benefit institutionalised children in desperate need of a voice. The new edition will include the Tales themselves, translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger, and with illustrations by me, but also notes by Professor Albus Dumbledore, which appear by generous permission of the Hogwarts Headmasters’ Archive.””

The book is expected to be released December 4th. Amazon is even planning a special-edition leather-bound (BOO!) version for $100.00. The charity expects to make about $8 million — but I think they’re being VERY conservative in their estimates.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • http://www.leatherbiz.co.uk Stephen Tierney

    Hi Michael
    I’m interested in the JK Rowling story. We covered it at the launch last year. But I did not want to let your ‘Boooo’ comment after the reference to leather-bound here pass unchallenged.

    Leather is a beautiful, natural, breathable, waterproof, sensual material and is as green as any that we use to make clothes, shoes, furniture and so on.

    It’s entirely dependent on the meat industry, which, for example, slaughters 40 million head of cattle a year in Brazil alone. What’s greener, putting the hides into landfill, burning them or recycling them into beautiful bags, shoes, clothes, chairs or book-covers?

    Is Ecorazzi for vegans only? Leather’s green credentials are strong, my friend.

  • http://www.ecorazzi.com michael

    Stephen,

    You’re right — leather is a definite use of something that might otherwise be thrown away.

    What I take issue with is the process by which leather is tanned — which more often than not — is is a dirty, energy-intensive, potentially toxic process.

    Now, granted, there are lots of ways the tanning of leather can be done sustainably. Vegetable-tanned hide is one such example.

    The question is — will Amazon’s process be one or the other? Considering Rowling’s desire to make her books eco-friendly, it would be interesting to see if that carries over to the special edition Beedle Books as well.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • http://www.leatherbiz.co.uk Stephen Tierney

    You’re right, Michael. There is a world of difference between veg-tanned leather and mass-produced chrome-tanned leather, but I can assure you the big chemical companies are in a huge hurry to find new ways of carrying out the process without pollution.

    If you’ll permit me, I recommend you take a look at IUV, a tannery in Slovenia that says it will be pollution-free this year. I realise it’s only one example, but green is the hot ticket in this industry too. Where I work, we want to do everything we can to encourage that.

    Good luck to you.

  • http://www.livingwithoutmeat.com Sally

    Oh my! You mentioned JKR on her birthday, but didn’t wish her a happy b-day! … see genre fiction dot net, it’s Harry Potter’s b-day, too.

  • http://brainyblonde.com erin

    Stephen,

    I must admit I had a great laugh tonight. Thank you for providing that for me. The fact that you called leather a “green” material did giggle…

    I have provided a link for you about more information on the process (and the companies that “claim to be going eco friendly” but really are not!) but this is the bottom line….

    You say that since we’re already killing all these animals anyway we might as well make use of their skin. I know I’m pulling a PETA tactic here and want to preface this with saying that I had relatives who died in the holocaust… but I must say that I can’t help but compare that meat industry to the Holocaust tragedy that happened less than 100 years ago. Would it be ok to say well, they’re being killed anyway let’s make some coats out of them. Of COURSE not. Buying leather only supports an already corrupt industry. The logic is backwards to me to close a blind eye to what’s happening and buy leather. Nonsense. Read here about the dangerous chemicals and what they can do to you when you wear leather (not to mention the bad karma if you believe in that stuff ;)

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Leather—Why-Its-So-Bad,-Whats-The-Alternative?&id=997151

    I proudly “ride without the hide” (see here for celebs who do the same) You might think this is a bit extreme but I went to great lengths to get a hybrid with all the extras except leather (not an easy find even back a few years when I got mine)

    I live in an old retro 50′s house “gone green” I could have used the same mentality you have displayed about leather and said “Well why not buy one of those big urban sprawl new homes they built since it was already built anyway” Who cares if they cut down an entire forest to build them!?” Guess what , if people stop buying those “prefab Sh&T boxes” (stole a line from my favorite show Weeds) then they’ll stop building them! Imagine that…. Wow!

    And guess what else? Perhaps if I spend another decade going out of my way NOT to buy leather and find eco friendly non toxic alternatives (there are many folks) and encourage all my friends to do so too (and stop eating meat or at least buy organic to start) then perhaps they’ll stop cutting down the rain forests, ruining our water supply and ruining our veggie crops with salmonella (yes that’s usually why the veggies get tainted- run off from the pig/cow farms so you’s can eat your meat and have your leather) and then we can perhaps have fruitful healthy
    humane happy lives and live to the ripe old age of 95 (or 100) like vegetarian Jack Lalanne!

    Ah now I feel better. And to end the night my friend just sent me an email that said “Why are all my vegetarian friends like you thin and all my meat eater friends fat hogs” Sorry but that felt like the purrrfect way to end this post ;)

    Nighty night,

    Erin

  • http://brainyblonde.com erin

    ps almost forgot my “ride without the hide link”

    And yes some people find me too extreme or “snobby” because i’m veggie, green house, hybrid, compost, blah blah blah but i see too many extreme smoker meat eating artery clogged people in my own family that make me realize i’d rather be at this end of the spectrum than at their end!

    http://www.peta.org/feat/mercedes/celebs.asp

  • http://www.leatherbiz.co.uk Stephen Tierney

    Hi Erin

    Don’t worry, I am familiar with all the arguments. It comes down to treating animals the same as we treat each other. You think we should (correct me if I’m wrong), I don’t.

    Do yourself a favour and visit Florence. Check out the most beautiful shoes and bags you will ever see, tanned using natural vegetable-based agents in the traditional way by small, family-owned and -run artisan companies.

  • Leather man

    Who gives a rats how the leather is tanned? If you are so stuck up in your ways, buy the paperback. Blimey, why the melodramatics? Leather is leather, it caame from an animal. Get over it.

  • http://www.Busyboo.bom i00i

    I just ordered the new J.K. Rowling Tales of Beedle The Bard, The Collector’s Edition at http://www.Busyboo.com and I am so excited about this book. It’s a magical, wizarding textbook with metal artwork and exclusive illustrations from the enchanted Hogwarts library – a must have for every Harry Potter fan and definitely worth the price! It goes on sale on Dec. 4 but there are a limited number of copies available, so I pre-ordered my copy knowing this will be the best Christmas gift ever!