CNN reports that the books come in a format that is compatible with all leading e-readers, tablets, personal computers and smart phones such as Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.
Readers seeking the e-books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble’s site will be directed to Pottermore to buy them.
“For years our customers have loved reading Harry Potter books in print, and have made them the best-selling print book series on Amazon.com,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s vice president of Kindle content.
“We’re excited that Harry Potter fans worldwide are now able to read J.K. Rowling’s fantastic books on their Kindles and free Kindle reading apps.”
“By offering the Nook editions of this popular series, long-time fans and first-time readers can experience the magic of Harry Potter in a new, exciting way and read what they love, anywhere they like,” offered Jim Hilt, Vice President of e-books for Barnes & Noble.
“I think it’s a very large crack in a dam that’s going to collapse in the next nine to twelve months,” says Matteo Berlucchi, the CEO of an independent British-based online bookstore, aNobii.
All seven books in English will be available at prices ranging from $7.99 to $9.99, through an agreement with Pottermore. French, Italian, German and Spanish editions are expected in the coming weeks with further languages to follow.
The free-to-use website, partnered by Sony, is one of several ventures launched by Rowling and her commercial partners to keep the magic of Harry Potter alive and the revenues rolling in.
Charles Redmayne, CEO of Pottermore, claims that “Harry Potter” books are probably the most pirated in the world already, even though —or rather because— there have been no legal electronic versions until now.
“We believe that people should have the right, once they’ve bought the book, to read it on any device that they chose to,” says Redmayne.
Rowling didn’t agree to make the books available digitally at all until last year, a full 14 years after the first, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” was published. (It was published in the United States as “Sorcerer’s Stone” the following year).
“I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation,” the British author explained last year addressing Potter’s fans on YouTube.
“I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have,” the author added. The full site, which combines elements of virtual encyclopedia, computer games, social network and online store, is set to open in early April.
Its launch, originally announced for October, was delayed after testing with a limited number of users showed changes were needed, writes News (AU).
Rowling’s final novel about the boy wizard’s adventures, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007. The author announced last month that she is working on a novel for adults, whose title and release date have not been disclosed.