'Harry Potter' Author J.K. Rowling Announces Mysterious New Novel Aimed at Adults

9:27 AM PST 02/23/2012 by Andy Lewis
Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

She promises something “very different” for her first book since the popular children’s series ended in 2007.

J.K. Rowling’s got a new book coming, and this one is for grown-ups.

Little, Brown and Company announced today that it had acquired the rights to Rowling's new book, a novel for adults. The publisher didn't reveal a title, subject or publication date, promising more information later this year.

It will be her first book since the Potter spinoff Tales of the Beedle Bard appeared in 2008, less than a year after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book in the series, was published in July 2007.

Rowling released a statement saying, "Although I've enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series." She added, "The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.”

Little, Brown is a new home for Rowling. The Harry Potter series was published by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom and Scholastic in the United States.

The first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, appeared in the United Kingdom in 1997 and in the U.S. (with the title changed to the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) in 1998. It quickly became one of the most popular children's series of all time. Rowling wrote six more Harry Potter novels over the next 10 years. Harry Potter is credited with reviving a generation (or two) of children's interest in reading. The series has been translated into more than 70 languages and sold in excess of 400 million copies.

The books were adapted into a successful movie series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the final film in the series, was released in July. It is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, with a total box office of more than $7.7 billion.

Advertising Age pegs the value of the Harry Potter brand at $15 billion, and Forbes says Rowling is the first billionaire author in history.

Rowling is represented by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership. David Shelley, publisher of Little, Brown Book Group, will be her editor and will be responsible for publication in the United Kingdom. Michael Pietsch, executive vice president of Little, Brown and Company, will be responsible for publication in the United States.

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