JK Rowling to Finally Declare “Uncle” (er…”Kindle”)?

Good news for Harry Potter fans! There’s a rumor that JK Rowling may have finally been persuaded that the vast army of Kindles, NOOKs and iPads should also be sprinkled with some wizarding magic, and the Harry Potter series may actually come to ebook form!

According to The Scotsman:

The Edinburgh-based writer has an estimated £620m fortune following record-breaking sales of the Harry Potter books and the success of the film franchise, and publishing experts say the e-book rights could be another major money-spinner for her.

Liz Thomson, editor of book industry website BookBrunch, said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the rights for the e-books are sold for £100m.

“Experts believe that move could revolutionise the world of electronic publishing, triggering rocket sales of e-book readers such as Kindle and the iPad.”

I agree, this could be huge for ebooks! Nate over at eBookNewser disagrees, arguing that only die-hard fans will repurchase them in e-form. However, think about how large the Harry Potter books are in paper form. Now imagine taking a long car ride or vacation with your kids, and having to lug at least one of their favorite HP books along for the ride. Instead, you could load it up on a Kindle or an iPad, and have the whole series with you without needing  a back brace and another set of luggage.

And while the series has been available in pirated form for some time, I don’t think that many people are sitting there hunting down pirated Harry Potter copies for their vacations. Have a few people done just that? Absolutely. But if they price the ebooks right (under $9.99), parents may find the convenience of a highly portable version worth paying for the books again. A true home run would be if someone were truly clever and added color pictures (and maybe even animated ones for the wizarding photos!) in the tablet versions!

If Harry Potter went to ebook form, would you re-purchase it, or buy it for the first time? Share your answer below!

Via eBookNewser

Categories: eBooks

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10 replies

  1. Actually, I think the biggest thing about this is search. In the past we would often discuss the HP stories with the kids, and somebody would try to remember exactly who said what when in which book. It’s hard to search for this in a series of seven mostly very large printed-on-paper books.

    • That’s a really good point. I didn’t even think of that…but it gives even more credence to the theory that people would happily re-purchase them in ebook form, especially if the price is right.

  2. To Nate over at eBookNewser … Beatles, iTunes, amongst the top selling albums & singles of 2010. ’nuff said.

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  6. I’ve thought for a long time it could be huge for eBooks. If someone had been smart, or at least not stubborn, she could have launched this to coincide with the publication of the final book in the series. But that ship has sailed, of course.

    A *ton* could be done with this, if someone wanted to get creative–including links to spells, video clips, and god-knows-what, but I suspect at best we’ll just get a straight text conversion.

    • I think I disagree that the last book was the perfect time; I think this is the perfect time. I think the worry would have been easy piracy. Also, Ms. Rowling has made more than plenty from the sale of printed books, and both Bloomsbury and Scholastic Books would have been very reluctant to allow eBooks to kill their cash cow. What would have motivated Ms. Rowling to do something huge for eBooks?

      With the last movie on the series imminent, this *is* perfect timing.

      • I understand your point, but I still think that coordinating a book release with the book release would have been better.

        On piracy, I think the worry is overblown, as I (and Carly!) have expressed in numerous posts. If given the opportunity to either a) purchase the book legally and very, very easily through Amazon or iTunes or B&N vs. having to know how to do torrents, conversions, adding stuff to your library by hand, and whatnot, what are most people going to do?

        There will always be piracy, sure, but for the most part it’s an overblown concern, in my view.

  7. I am not into Harry Potter, but if I were I think one way they could have done this to make sure they get sales is to bring out a reference book. For example, a Spell book. Then when a spell is mentioned, link to the spell book. If this were a scifi series, you could have links to a technical reference book where one could get more information about the device they are talking about making the story a richer experience.