University Presses, as told by Harry Potter

When meeting an author for the first time:

“You’re a little scary sometimes, you know that? Brilliant … but scary.”

— Ron Weasley (Stone)

When training a new marketing assistant to write copy:

“The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

— Albus Dumbledore (Stone)

The successful candidate for business manager, during the interview:

“’I know some things,’ he said. ’ I can, you know, do maths and stuff.'”

— Harry Potter (Stone)

Authors, when compiling an index:

“I’ll be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending I’m not there.”

— Harry Potter (Chamber)

When training a new acquisitions editor:

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

— Albus Dumbledore (Chamber)

The work student, leaving at the end of the semester:

“Dobby is free.”

— Dobby (Chamber)
dobby gif
Marketing, explaining why a well-known author’s trade book tanked:

“Fame is a fickle friend, Harry. Celebrity is as celebrity does. Remember that.”

— Gilderoy Lockhart (Chamber)
The editorial committee, when pointing out an error:

“Turn to page 394.”

— Snape (Prisoner)
When selling foreign rights:

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

— Albus Dumbledore (Goblet)

When a job candidate is asked “why a career in publishing?”

“I think we’ve outgrown full-time education… Time to test our talents in the real world, d’you reckon?”

— Fred Weasley (Order)
When journals and book staff converse:

“Don’t worry. You’re just as sane as I am.”

— Luna Lovegood (Order)

When a copy editor gets to use MLA style instead of Chicago:

“I mean, it’s sort of exciting, isn’t it, breaking the rules?”

— Hermione Granger (Order)

Acquisitions editors, when dealing with tenure-track authors:

“There is no need to call me ‘sir,’ Professor.”

— Harry Potter (Half Blood)

Copy editor’s note, when changing an author’s phrasing:

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

― Albus Dumbledore (Hallows)

Authors, when reading that same copy editor’s note:

“Once again, you show all the sensitivity of a blunt axe.”

— Nearly Headless Nick (Half Blood)

Authors, protesting when the copy editor removes the “U” in “colour”:

“I’ve always wanted to use that spell.”

― Minerva McGonagall (Hallows)

Marketing, when questioned about their use of social media:

“It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.”

— Remus Lupin (Hallows)
University presidents, when asked about their continued support for university presses:

“After all this time?”

Dumbledore/Snape (Hallows)
snape gif

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