Perhaps lugging around a thick paper copy of any of the seven books in the Harry Potter series has deterred you from indulging in a re-read, or even attempting a first go at the books. But starting today, J.K. Rowling’s novels involving the world of wizards are available in e-book format.
The series, which Reuters says has sold an estimated 450 million copies worldwide, is available on the author’s Pottermore online store. That site is the only place you’ll be able to buy ebooks and digital audio books, and only in English for now.
Oh, and they’re still more expensive than buying a physical copy on Amazon. For example, a paperback of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is $6.71 on Amazon, and $7.99 on Pottermore. It’s not just Harry Potter, either — while e-readers are getting cheaper, e-book prices have been rising. That price discrepancy has led to the Justice Department investigating book publishers for reportedly scheming to keep prices high across the board.
The main Pottermore site has been delayed by months, and although the store is up and running, the rest of it won’t be be functioning until early April. It’s designed to lure in readers who want to explore even more of Harry Potter’s world than what’s in the books.
Back in July, when the e-book plan hit the news, Google also announced a partnership with Pottermore, wherein “Google Checkout will be the preferred third party payment platform for all purchases made on Pottermore.com.”
Rowling originally didn’t want Harry in digital format, but now it seems she’s bowed to the inevitable march of technology and the whining of millions of fans.