NEW YORK - J.K. Rowling has a request for those with inside dirt on her seventh and final Harry Potter book: Please keep it to yourself.
"We're a little under three months away, now, and the first distant rumblings of the weirdness that usually precedes a Harry Potter publication can be heard on the horizon," Rowling wrote on her Web site Monday.
"I want the readers who have, in many instances, grown up with Harry, to embark on the last adventure they will share with him without knowing where they are they going."
The author's comments came in response to an April 28 editorial by a leading Potter fan site, http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org, which noted that it had been receiving "spoiler" e-mails _ and expected many more _ alleging advance knowledge of the book's contents.
Rowling has said two major characters will die in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which comes out July 21. Although the Potter books are released under tight security, copies often are obtained before the publication date.
"If Harry dies, we don't want to know about it until J.K. Rowling decides to tell us," Leaky Cauldron webmaster Melissa Anelli wrote. "And if you decide to tell us before that, you'll incur the wrath of a staff of almost 200, most of whom have been waiting almost 10 years for these final revelations and can NEVER get back the moment you rob by spoiling them.
"That's some wrath right there. We own pitchforks, hot wax and feathers. And we're not afraid to use them."
On Monday, Rowling seconded the fan site's plea.
"Some, perhaps, will read this and take the view that all publicity is good publicity, that spoilers are part of hype, and that I am trying to protect sales rather than my readership," Rowling wrote on http://www.jkrowling.com. "However, spoilers won't stop people buying the book, they never have - all it will do is diminish their pleasure in the book."
More than 300 million copies have sold of the previous six Potter books. "Deathly Hallows" has more than 1 million pre-orders on Amazon.com alone.