Home » Amazon, Children's Books, Ebooks » Harry Potter Books Head To Kindle And Nook After Pottermore Suffers Cruciatus Curse

Harry Potter Books Head To Kindle And Nook After Pottermore Suffers Cruciatus Curse

9 January 2016

From The Digital Reader:

When Pottermore was launched in early 2012, it was hailed as the first of many publisher-owned ebookstores that would lead to the vanquishment of Amazon.

Pottermore was the sole source of Harry Potter ebooks and audiobooks, and many saw that as a club that could be used against Amazon. As I predicted, that proved to be far more hype than substance, but now it turns out that Pottermore was not nearly as strong as everyone assumed.

I’ve just discovered that Amazon is selling Harry Potter ebooks in the Kindle Store. The ebooks were quietly listed in early December 2015, and have been collecting reviews since at least the 15th.

You can also find the ebooks in the Nook Store, as well as Kobo, where they are selling for $9 each.

. . . .

The Bookseller published an article yesterday which looks at Pottermore’s company filings and offers a revealing explanation for Pottermore’s recent decisions to distribute enhanced ebooks to iBooks and to let Audible,B&N, and other retailers sell its audiobooks.

The answer, my dears, is money.

When Pottermore launched, one of its earliest partners was Sony. The electronics giant was in it for the branding, and they released Harry Potter games, a Harry Potter themed section of Playstation Home, and included a free Harry Potter ebook with the Sony Reader.

Sony was paying nicely for the privilege, but eventually that deal ran out:

The site, which gives Harry Potter fans an enhanced experience of J K Rowling’s wizarding world, along with new short stories, insights and games, relaunched in September with a new mobile-first search-friendly format. Before this, in the year ending 31st March 2015, sales dropped by £24.8m – or 352% – to £7m (from £31.8m a year earlier), while profit at Pottermore also decreased significantly, from £14.9m in 2014 to a loss of £6m in 2015.

So apparently over 70% of Pottermore’s revenue came from this one deal with Sony, and not from sales or other channels.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader and thanks to Joshua for the tip.

Amazon, Children's Books, Ebooks

22 Comments to “Harry Potter Books Head To Kindle And Nook After Pottermore Suffers Cruciatus Curse”

  1. Market saturation achieved?

    I loved Nancy Drew books when I was young – I don’t read them today. Did not search them out for my daughter when she was the right age. They’re dated.

    I still don’t understand why a nice solid business, with regular (if decreased from its heyday) revenue, is not considered a good thing. Everyone is about GROWTH!

    Wonder what Rowling wants to do with the rest of her life.

    • Nancy Drew was my main source of reading when I was a kid in the late 80s and early 90s. And not the rebranded ones – no, only the old ones did it for me. I think Ned was my first crush. 🙂

      • I’m with you. Nancy was my gateway drug, in the third grade the late 80’s. She’s the reason I wear glasses: I read her by the nightlight.

        I didn’t mind the different era she lived in; I was fascinated that she could get a week’s worth of groceries and a T-bone steak for a dog, all for less than $10. My parents were paying $40 for groceries with no steaks. I read a mix of the 50s version and 30’s version of those hardcovers, depending on what the library had. It was interesting even then to see changes in sensibilities just over the 20 year timespan. When I read the paperback “updated” Nancy’s for the 80’s/90’s, I got mad when she broke up with Ned.

        • Thrilling Wonder Stories ran a house ad reading (more or less):

          GIANT PRIZE CONTEST—Amateur Writers!!!!!!
          First Prize $50 Fifty Dollars $50

          In 1939 one could fill three station wagons with fifty dollars worth of groceries. Today I can pick up fifty dollars in groceries unassisted—perhaps I’ve grown stronger.

          — Robert A. Heinlein

  2. Time to find another way to make money. I do appreciate the fact that she continued writing, even after her huge success with HP. But when I go to schools to talk about reading and writing, the kids haven’t read Harry Potter. It’s not cool anymore. She needs to find another way to stay relevant.

    • I don’t think it’s about being cool. If the kiddies haven’t read Harry Potter, I suspect they aren’t interested in books. They probably prefer the movies.

      • I think they’re solid books that continuing generations should enjoy. But for me, I’m done with the HP universe. I am not interested in reading any short stories or playing games or anything. When the series was still unfinished, I would read the HP fora and look at HP merchandise, and preorder, and wait in line at midnight for my copy to read right away.

        But once Harry’s story arc completed, I was done. I am not even particularly interested in rereading the series. The hardcovers are dust magnets.

        It was “an event” when we had to know what happened next. Now, anyone who watches the films or reads Wikipedia knows how it ends. It’s still cracking good and worth reading, but the phenomenon of suspense–the wait of 2 years for the next read–that’s done.

        • I’m not so sure. I suspect they’re very much stories of their time, and future generations will wonder what the heck ‘schools’ were.

          I bought the first couple from iBooks to see what they’d done with the animated illustrations, but couldn’t convince myself to read past the second one. Maybe if I was still twelve…

  3. I joined to get my hands on one of the short stories but, squib that I am, couldn’t figure out how to get the darn thing. Haven’t been back since.

  4. It’s kind of interesting. Back when the Harry Potter e-books were in huge demand, it wasn’t too much to ask people to jump through the hoops. But now that sales have fallen off, too many people just can’t be bothered. So, time to simplify.

  5. How do they lose £6 million on a website? They must by tying in other things somehow.

    • Don’t you know that it costs a lot of money to store those e-book copies that we haven’t sold yet? We had to add an extra level to Gringot’s to hold all of them, Ms. Rowling. But don’t worry, the electronic store rooms are kept at the premium temperature and humidity level to preserve those e-books so that they will be perfect condition for the customers. Now, please sign that check for another million. Overhead, you understand.

  6. Before this, in the year ending 31st March 2015, sales dropped by £24.8m – or 352% – to £7m (from £31.8m a year earlier), while profit at Pottermore also decreased significantly, from £14.9m in 2014 to a loss of £6m in 2015.

    If a sales drop from 31 to 7 is a 352% decrease, is a sales increase from 7 to 31 a 77% increase?

    Whale math has competition.

  7. “The answer, my dears, is money.”

    What? No! Really?

    I’m flabbergasted…

    (My bad, I guess. If the object of a business is to sell stuff and make money, why would any business limit distribution of its stuff and take a wallet hit?)

  8. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I never went back to the site because I was irrationally annoyed that I got sorted into Hufflepuff. 😀

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