April 5, 2011
By the ZippyCart Content Team
Good news muggles, JK Rowling, author of the famed Harry Potter series is actively considering digital formats for the seven Potter titles. The consideration marks a change in the author who has remained firm in declining a digital version of the Potter series for many years now. Piracy issues seem to be the main cause as to why Rowling has shyed away from going digital but unfortunately, illegal, lower-quality electronic versions of the Potter books are being hawked and going into many a shopping cart, a sure sign Rowling is leaving money on the table.
Rowling’s lawyer, Neil Blair had this to comment, “We are currently actively looking at all the various options for Harry Potter in this space, that is e-books.”
The digitization of content, from movies, music, to photography, is becoming more and more prevalent, with a new generation growing up more receptive to the way this content is presented. The Potter books, of which a couple titles surpass 600 pages, are considerably cumbersome for any fan to lug around for easy reading. For Rowling, the shift to a digital format could first address this issue and ultimately, usher in a new generation of Harry Potter fans who would come to know the series through the highly-popular digital readers like Apple’s iPad or Amazon’s Kindle.
With the last and final installment of the Harry Potter films set to release in theaters in the upcoming months, Harry Potter fans, much like the stars of the film themselves, are growing up and graduating from Hogwarts, moving on into the muggle world to explore other interests. Harry Potter going digital will also prove advantageous for Rowling, as it will also go hand in hand with the boom of tablets and ereaders in the market this year. The timing of it all could not be any better.
According to Liz Thomson, editor of book industrywebsite BookBrunch, “Experts believe the move could revolutionise the world of electronic publishing, triggering rocketing sales of ebook readers such as the Kindle and the iPad.”
There are multiple reasons already presented, if not considering the many zeros, persuasive enough for Rowling to enter the eBook market. The digital offering could bring Rowling an additional $161 million (£100 million) to her estimated $1 billion (£620 million) fortune accumulated from the record-breaking sales of the her Potter books and the film franchise. Rowling currently stands as the second wealthiest woman in entertainment next to Oprah herself.
In a way, the digital format is the Harry Potter baton that this generation of fans pass on to the new ones in the making, who will be equally enchanted by a swish and flip of a wand, flying a Nimbus 3000 in the big Quidditch game, winning the house cup, and even, learning a defensive spell or two to fight He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (ahem* Voldemort).