Harry Potter and the future of digital publishing

The insanely popular Harry Potter books are about to be released, finally, in digital formats.

Pottermore, the store that will be responsible for selling the new titles, is taking some genuinely innovative approaches, according to this report in Futurebook. This is my favorite part:

[T]he e-books will be DRM free: DRM will only be applied once they are pushed through to a Kindle, or Nook device, or loaned to library users via the OverDrive system – but customers will also be able to download a basic DRM-free ePub version.  Readers will be able to securely "push" the digital books to up to eight devices concurrently. That’s pretty flexible and shows that the Pottermore folk want to digital reading experience to be as seamless as the print example.


[Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne said]: "Harry Potter books are already pirated extensively: my view is that the one thing we [should] learn from the music industry, is that one of the best ways of fighting back against piracy is making content available to consumers at a platform they want to purchase it on, and at a price they are willing to pay, and if you do that most people will instinctively want to buy it."

The company also has done “groundbreaking deals” with Sony, Google, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Amazon’s official announcement has details:

Customers will find it easy to search and find books in the Harry Potter series in the Kindle Store. They can visit the detail pages for the books and will be directed to the Pottermore Shop where they will have the option to purchase the titles and seamlessly push them to their Kindle Library, and to every Kindle device and Kindle app a customer has.

The only company that refuses to budge is Apple. What a surprise.

2 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the future of digital publishing

  1. Kudos to Pottermore. I’ve always said the way to stop piracy is to sell uncrippled entertainment content for a reasonable price. For example, if high-quality movies, albums and books were $5, regardless of format, piracy would be almost totally eradicated.

    Pottermore is selling all 7 Harry Potter books for $57.54. That’s not $5 per book, but it’s less than $10. Download to your computer as ePub, or push to your reader, even Google Books (sorry, Google “Play” Books). The only thing I didn’t like was that each book had to be downloaded individually.

    Following my own beliefs and to back Pottermore for their revolutionary approach, I purchased all 7 Harry Potter eBooks – even though I already have them in printed form – and converted them to mobi (for use with my family’s Kindles) with Calibre.

  2. I agree with DayTrader$, take the over-control out, reduce the cost and both consumer and businessman alike would benefit highly.

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