Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

INA Global on Pottermore: Harry Potter's Final Battle Will Be Digital


Excerpt - very interesting on Rowling's digital options - 'selling chapters,... sell rights for time-limited use' below:

"....Created in association with Sony, Pottermore is a new frame to expose Rowling's stories: for the very first time, the Harry Potter series will be offered in e-book format (both written and audio). The e-books should be available on all existing reading devices: Pottermore's CEO, Rod Henwood, declared that he was in discussions with all the big names in the sector (Apple, Google, Barnes & Noble, Kindle) in order to make the e-books "available to as many readers as possible". Up until now, Rowling – who is the one of the very few authors to hold the digital rights to their books – had been strictly against selling the Harry Potter saga online, because of the piracy threat. But the writer seems to have gained full understanding of how much is at stake with this digital opportunity.

With Pottermore, J.K. Rowling adresses a new generation of potential readers, children who weren't yet born when the first book was published. Choosing to go digital is adapting to a possibility of reading that may be predominant in the coming years, and most especially for the youngest readers. Considering how far the classic versions of the Harry Potter books have gone, in terms of readership and profit, it is not unreasonable to consider that paper books have already reached their pinnacle for Harry Potter. It is now time to take a more innovative – and riskier – path.

J.K. Rowling is surely accepting of risk, since her e-books won’t encompass anti-piracy measures like DRM[+]. She simply opted for watermarking, which links the identity of the purchaser to the copy of the e-book. This process doesn't prevent the work – technically speaking – from piracy. It only plays on less concrete mechanisms like dissuasion and reader responsibility. In order to renew reader interest, Rowling has already prepared 18,000 brand new words of complementary text material on Hogwarts, Mudbloods, wizards and other essential elements of the Harry Potter universe. Internet users will be able to participate actively in the construction of parallel stories, share their drawings or play games with other fans.

For this new chapter of her success story, Rowling has decided to be free. In early July 2011, the writer separated from Christopher Little, the agent who has been by her side from the beginning. Little was considered not interested enough in new technologies to continue. Distance has also been taken from the original publishers, Bloomsbury for the United Kingdom and Scholastic for the USA: Rowling is following the new tendency of self-publishing. Despite this choice of independence, Bloomsbury and Scholastic will perceive their due share on e-books, but the author will be free to set prices. She will also be able to sell single chapters if she wants to, or sell rights for time-limited use. For all of this new activity, Harry Potter will be published under the brand Pottermore Publishing. In a contribution to online review Paid Content, journalist Laura Hazard Owen projects that major players in the economy of e-books could be tempted to take inspiration from Rowling's innovative practices in terms of prices. Harry Potter has been a veritable phenomenon for classic publishing – and time will tell whether the sorcerer is defying or defining the e-book.

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

No comments: