JK Rowling recently produced seven handwritten copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a book of fairy tales referenced in her last novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Six were given to close personal friends of the author; the seventh was auctioned. The winning bid came from Amazon.com, which now has on its Web site images and reviews of the book.
The sale has unfortunately received a mixed reaction, as some fans are decrying the limited nature of the book will prevent them from ever reading the complete Harry Potter story. On his blog, Star Trek novelist Dayton Ward offers his an intelligent and well-mannered perspective response. I'll further point out that it's hard to criticize anyone who would invest so much time and energy into a unique product that so few will read; not only has Ms. Rowling forsaken that satisfaction and feedback, she also used the opportunity to raise $4 million for her favorite charity. There's no better gift, especially at this time of year; kudos to Amazon.com for being a significant player in this transaction.