The Corner Office: Battling the 'Potter' Goliath
● What changes were made to the first version so that you were able to publish it?
Rapoport: Added to the book was a great deal of new critical commentary on hundreds of entries [and] additional etymologies. Potential plot spoilers were taken out [as well as] references to two small companion books Rowling wrote, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Quidditch Through the Ages.”
● Why did you decide to proceed with publishing “The Lexicon”?
Rapoport: Because a lot of people were still asking for it. … One buyer told me that he wished he had [“The Lexicon”] when his daughter started reading the series in the second grade. No index or encyclopedia for the books existed until now. Readers are very passionate about this. … This is why we wanted to publish the book from the beginning. We knew there was a need and a want.
● How did you handle the level of attention and intense media coverage surrounding the lawsuit?
Rapoport: When this first happened, there was an amazing number of reporters here, but … it was a real blessing to deal with reporters who were very up-to-speed on what was going on. And the coverage was very evenhanded, so that made it much easier. It did get a little ugly on the Internet and blogs. … We kept in touch with our regular customers and made sure to answer all [of their] questions.
… We also wanted this experience to help other people. We set up a nonprofit with the Right to Write Fund with Stanford Law School. (The school also helped represent the publisher during the lawsuit.) It [was created] in the hopes of helping other publishers and authors who are dealing with these types of lawsuits. We don’t want to see anyone else have to go through this. This will [provide] authors confronted with First Amendment issues [with] a place to get quick answers and help.