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Literary Star Releases E-books

The Sleeping Beauty Galaxy

M64: The Sleeping Beauty Galaxy Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

Harry Potter In E-book

J.K. Rowling announced this week that the Harry Potter series will be now available  on electronic readers as an e-book. To further add fuel to the fire, Rowling has decided to market the e-books herself rather than go through the traditional literary agencies and booksellers that usually handle e-books for successful novelists. Me thinks that that the soon the waves upon the literary sea will be raging with the winds of a mighty tempest.

My Reaction

I’m not jumping up and about this bit of news, even though it is possible that J.K. Rowling’s move may make the indie e-market a bit greener for self-published authors. Moreover,  my fear is that her decision might signal that the e-reader market is about to be taken over by major players. E-readers and the accompanying e-books are both being more popular year by year and I guess Rowling has decided it is time to enter the market on her own terms.

Pottermore

After looking a bit closer at the story, it appears the e-book decision is part of a bigger effort to market the strange and popular world that Rowling has created with her Harry Potter series. Pottermore is the name of the site and at present all you can do is visit the site  and leave your e-mail address. Not due until October (just in time for the Christmas season), Pottermore will officially open and allow online visitors to “an exciting online experience around the reading of the Harry Potter books”. This online experience includes purchasing e-books, interactive Hogwarth experiences, as well as the purchase of Harry Potter games and paraphernalia. Most likely this is the beginning of a successful marketing strategy, similar to those that followed the success of Star Trek and Star Wars.

Booksellers Are Up In Arms

Up until this announcement, Rowling has refused to release Harry Potter as an e-book, a decision that has kept the sale of the popular series limited to paper publications. This has definitely been a plus for bookstores, but nonetheless, paperback and hardback merchants are not happy about this new announcement. According to Roxanne Coady, owner of R.J. Julia Booksellers, “Bricks and mortar stores are taking a lot of bullets and there’s a limit to how many bullets we can take, If the sellers of the Rowling e-books are saying they don’t need bricks and mortar stores, then that’s the result you’ll get.”

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