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'Harry Potter' gains e-book treatment, but no deal yet for Apple's iBookstore

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
The bestselling "Harry Potter" series is now available in e-book form from many of the top digital storefronts, with one glaring exception: Apple's iBookstore.

Author J.K. Rowling's "Pottermore" website launched its bookstore feature on Tuesday, making all seven "Harry Potter" titles available in e-book form. The digital titles are now available on e-bookstores from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google and Sony, but not Apple.

That's because the Rowling and "Pottermore" have not yet struck a deal with Apple, according to The Wall Street Journal. Though Apple device owners won't be able to buy the titles through the iBookstore, they can still access digital copies through Amazon's Kindle application and Barnes & Noble's Nook reader, both of which are available on the App Store.

Currently, a search for "Harry Potter" on the iBookstore returns a variety of supplemental titles, including sheet music from the feature films and unauthorized learning guides.

Rowling's "Pottermore" website remains in "beta" and is only available to a limited number of users. The site is scheduled to open to the general public in early April.

The site does offer e-books from the "Harry Potter" series in EPUB format. That means the digital files available for download can be saved into Apple's iBooks application, but the titles cannot be purchased from the iBookstore.




Both the iPhone and iPad are listed as compatible devices with the EPUB format on the "Pottermore" site. It notes that they must be running iOS 4.2 or newer.

But the site has forged partnerships with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Google to send purchases of "Harry Potter" e-books directly to a user's account, simplifying the process of making the titles available on various devices. Customers of "Pottermore" must link their account with the appropriate Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, or Google Play profile.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 62
That's ok. iPad owners have access to some real magic

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 62
I never liked Harry Potter anyways. Totally overrated. Apple is better off without them.
post #4 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

I never liked Harry Potter anyways. Totally overrated. Apple is better off without them.

Well that makes no sense. You don't like Harry Potter - which is OK, but how has that got anything to do with Apple, and how is Apple better off without Harry Potter?
post #5 of 62
What's the big deal.

You CAN buy the books from the website and read them in iBooks. It's not like they shut that out.

So they don't want to give 30% to Apple. That's their right. It doesn't mean they hate the ibooks store. Perhaps they really wanted to sell all of them right off their site but Amazon etc won't allow it much like if you use ibooks author you have to sell via Apple's store front.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #6 of 62
Apparently DRM-free? If so, who cares if you can buy it from iBooks or Sony or not. Just download it and use it anywhere!
post #7 of 62
If/when you can buy from the store, it's a better bet to buy them from the site, because apparently they're delivered without any DRM (which books bought from the Kindle Store, Nook store, and iBook Store are all wrapped in). The prices are reasonable as well, $8 for the older/shorter books, $10 for the newer/longer books with a decent bundle price ($57.54)

Audiobooks seem a bit on the high end, though I'll admit I buy most of my audiobooks through Audible so may be biased. I also bought all the books on CD and ripped them, so not particularly interested.

Ah, just checked it out on Amazon.com. Even if you want to buy from Amazon, you're sent to Pottermore, buying from them, giving them your personal info, and then linking it to your kindle account so it gets automatically linked and downloadable there. Yeah, that's not going to fly with Apple.
post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

What's the big deal.

You CAN buy the books from the website and read them in iBooks. It's not like they shut that out.

So they don't want to give 30% to Apple. That's their right. It doesn't mean they hate the ibooks store. Perhaps they really wanted to sell all of them right off their site but Amazon etc won't allow it much like if you use ibooks author you have to sell via Apple's store front.

They're probably giving 30% (or more) to Amazon, et al, so that's probably not the issue.

I would guess that it has to do with some detail in the contract and will eventually be worked out. Regardless, it's not that big a deal because you can read HP on your iPad, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Well that makes no sense. You don't like Harry Potter - which is OK, but how has that got anything to do with Apple, and how is Apple better off without Harry Potter?

Just ignore 'I'm a zzz'. He never has anything intelligent to say.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #9 of 62
I'll wait for the movies.
post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

That's ok. iPad owners have access to some real magic

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

I never liked Harry Potter anyways. Totally overrated. Apple is better off without them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

I'll wait for the movies.

Hysterical! Except April fools not til Sunday.
post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Just ignore 'I'm a zzz'. He never has anything intelligent to say.

"Never" is too strong. For example, I often point out your numerous mistakes of fact.
post #12 of 62
Beatlesgate
Pottergate
post #13 of 62
/yawn...

...Dumbledoor dies.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #14 of 62
We prefer the unabridged audiobooks. The UK versions narriated by Stephen Fry, of course.
post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Currently, a search for "Harry Potter" on the iBookstore returns a variety of supplemental titles, including sheet music from the feature films and unauthorized learning guides.


The site does offer e-books from the "Harry Potter" series in EPUB format. That means the digital files available for download can be saved into Apple's iBooks application, but the titles cannot be purchased from the iBookstore.

][/URL]

Reading EPUB on an iPad is like watching reruns of black and white TV shows on a 70" LCD . An interactive version like the new textbooks would actually be interesting to see.
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

What's the big deal.

You CAN buy the books from the website and read them in iBooks. It's not like they shut that out.

So they don't want to give 30% to Apple. That's their right. It doesn't mean they hate the ibooks store. Perhaps they really wanted to sell all of them right off their site but Amazon etc won't allow it much like if you use ibooks author you have to sell via Apple's store front.

Actually you should see the author contracts for Amazon.com for Kindle books. There's a reason the books are only being sold from the Pottermore site.

All the ebook stores would take a chunk for selling the books. Aplle's pricing is not an exception at all.
post #17 of 62
This is like waiting for the Beatles on iTunes. Yawn. Who cares. (By which, I mean, those who love it already have it by other means and from other sources).
post #18 of 62
If you bothered to research a little better, you'd know that you can only purchase the books through Rowling's Pottermore site. Take a look on the Kindle store - it only provides a link for purchase on her site - they aren't getting any revenue. So they aren't actually boxing out Apple. They are boxing out all resellers - which is a smart move. Apple is probably choosing not to link to her site. And at the end of the day, you can still read the books on an iPad...so how is this news? I feel like this site is becoming a place for people to just get mad about anything that sort of appears to go against Apple. Good grief. I love Apple, but come on. This is getting old.
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by titomcgee View Post

I feel like this site is becoming a place for people to just get mad about anything that sort of appears to go against Apple.

That is this site's charm. You say it like it is a bad thing.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by titomcgee View Post

I feel like this site is becoming a place for people to just get mad about anything that sort of appears to go against Apple. Good grief. I love Apple, but come on. This is getting old.

Really, it's become more of a place for the haters to rant against Apple at every turn. Look at any post from the poster directly above me for examples.

As for the Harry Potter books, my kid tells me that ship sailed long ago. Yesterday's news.

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The bestselling "Harry Potter" series is now available in e-book form from many of the top digital storefronts, with one glaring exception: Apple's iBookstore.

What is the deal? Anyways, iPad excels in everything except being an e-reader. As e-reader it totally sucks - heavy, big, unusable in sunlight. This is on the contrary to what Tim Cook said at the last keynote about iPad being a favorite device for reading books. I guess he is not good at lying and field-distorting as Steve used to be.

I guess bad day for news today...
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

iPad excels in everything except being an e-reader. As e-reader it totally sucks - heavy, big, unusable in sunlight. This is on the contrary to what Tim Cook said at the last keynote about iPad being a favorite device for reading books. I guess he is not good at lying and field-distorting as Steve used to be.

well, it IS my favorite device for reading books... and everything else.
post #23 of 62
If you've already paid for the hard covers, you could OCR them yourself. Or, you could bittorrent the books.

Bittorrent is like magic.
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

What is the deal? Anyways, iPad excels in everything except being an e-reader. As e-reader it totally sucks - heavy, big, unusable in sunlight. This is on the contrary to what Tim Cook said at the last keynote about iPad being a favorite device for reading books. I guess he is not good at lying and field-distorting as Steve used to be.

I guess bad day for news today...

It's great for picture books and magazines and short-term reading i.e. NYTimes, NY Post.
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfromberkeley View Post

Or, you could bittorrent the books. Bittorrent is like magic.

We're not fans of piracy here.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #26 of 62
Not that I wouldn't want this to be available in iBooks, but what's the point? Hasn't anyone even remotely interested in the series read all the books by now?

This might have been bigger news five years ago before the final book came out.
post #27 of 62
The big news here is that the lucrative books are available in an open (unlocked) format (ePub).
Brava to Rowling.

The audio version should be read by Rhys Darby.
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

They're probably giving 30% (or more) to Amazon, et al, so that's probably not the issue.

I would guess that it has to do with some detail in the contract and will eventually be worked out. Regardless, it's not that big a deal because you can read HP on your iPad, anyway.



Just ignore 'I'm a zzz'. He never has anything intelligent to say.

No. J.K. Rowling owns the rights to the digital versions of her books (an unprecedented allowance) and since she has the power to do so she's selling them on her own (partnered with Sony). As long as sales of HP books through her Pottermore Shop (where she essentially keeps 100% of the sales) are steady, the books won't show up on other book stores. There's simply no reason for her to give 30% of her sales to a retailer (Apple, Amazon, whomever) when she most likely has to power to sell just as much on her own and keep all the cash. It's a very smart business move.

I bought all seven Harry Potter eBooks this morning and imported them into iTunes with no hassle. They show up on iPad just as any other book purchased from the iBookstore with no loss of functionality (page turns, fonts choice, etc.). Even all the illustrations are included in the eBook versions. Pricing is very reasonable and you can re-download purchased books up to eight times. I can't see a negative to this set-up no matter how I look at it.

J.K. Rowling is in an extremely unique situation that we're not likely to see any other author obtain anytime soon. Why shouldn't she take advantage of it? Especially if it works out so well for end users.

<goes back to reading Harry Potter on the iPad>
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

We're not fans of piracy here.

He specifically said, "if you already own a print copy." (paraphrased)
So it's not piracy.
He already paid for a license to own/read the book... Format conversion doesn't change that.

Not EVERYTHING on peer-to-peer network is piracy. (Most, probably... But not everything.)
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

We prefer the unabridged audiobooks. The UK versions narriated by Stephen Fry, of course.

To each their own I suppose. While I like Stephen Fry, I never have understood why anyone would want an "audiobook" (except for the obvious case of being blind).

To have someone nattering on in the background is terribly annoying IMO. You can't possibly concentrate on anything else at the same time. And if you have the time and attention for it, then you might as well read it yourself since you aren't doing anything else.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

What is the deal? Anyways, iPad excels in everything except being an e-reader. As e-reader it totally sucks - heavy, big, unusable in sunlight. This is on the contrary to what Tim Cook said at the last keynote about iPad being a favorite device for reading books. I guess he is not good at lying and field-distorting as Steve used to be. ..

I think you are conflating your personal dislike for the iPad as an eReader with facts about it's popularity. In your opinion it isn't very good, but Tim Cooks statement can still be true if your opinion is a minority one.

Ergo and ipso facto, it's really just more likely that what you are looking for in an eReader isn't the same as what most people are looking for in an eReader (reading in sunlight for example).
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

He specifically said, "if you already own a print copy."
So it's not piracy.

Indeed, and I may be making too many assumptions here, but bittorrent will require you to seed as you download. You can turn off seeding, but good luck actually getting your files to finish downloading* (since many dedicated pirates won't just let people mooch without "giving back to the community"). While the act of downloading isn't illegal since he owns the copy, the act of uploading what he's getting IS, and the uploading is for what most people are actually arrested/fined.

*I tried this once with a video. Since it's actually illegal to rip DVDs that you own but ISN'T illegal to own the DVD and then download yourself a copy for free, I picked one and turned off seeding during the download. Just dropped to infinity after a few hours and stayed there.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think you are conflating your personal dislike for the iPad as an eReader with facts about it's popularity. In your opinion it isn't very good, but Tim Cooks statement can still be true if your opinion is a minority one.

Ergo and ipso facto, it's really just more likely that what you are looking for in an eReader isn't the same as what most people are looking for in an eReader (reading in sunlight for example).

Well, so you really like iPad for reading e-books (simple, not magazines, not interactive) more than e-paper devices such as Kindle Touch, Nook Touch?
Any reason why?
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Any reason why?

On the bed. Night mode. Turning bed light off so my wife could sleep.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

To each their own I suppose. While I like Stephen Fry, I never have understood why anyone would want an "audiobook" (except for the obvious case of being blind).

I know several people who listen to audiobooks while commuting.
Can you imagine that?
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Well, so you really like iPad for reading e-books (simple, not magazines, not interactive) more than e-paper devices such as Kindle Touch, Nook Touch?
Any reason why?

Me too ... I read in the dark ... can't do that with a kindle (maybe with the fire?)

I often read outdoors too. That bit about not being able to read in sunlight is just not true. Yes, you have to turn the brightness up, and that might take the battery down from 10 hours to 6... but still more than enough for my needs.

The NEW iPad display is just as clear and sharp as E-paper (and does color).... MUCH less eye-strain than the old display.

Now... there's nothing wrong with the Kindle/Nook/et al ... but I also do a lot more than JUST reading on the iPad. Stuff that is just not possible on those devices. So they are not adequate for MY purposes.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #37 of 62
I decided I wanted to read "The Hunger Games." First place I went was the iBookstore. fast, easy, convenient. It is the eBook reader I use, and I like to click and be done. But lo and behold, I find it isn't available on iBookstore (although the trailers and music are all on iTunes). So, I obtained the ePUB from another source, drag and dropped it to iTunes, sync and done. Bit of a pain to do so, but works.

The publishing world needs to get their act together. iTunes was a monumental success because the music industry bought into it at reasonable prices. In the nearly 1600 years since movable type and paper were invented, we've always been dependent on the makers of the books to tell us what is good to read. "Getting published" had the mark of some editing quality and peer review. No longer. They guy that owns the "publishing company" no on longer has any value added. The Next Big Thing for books is the social media connection - once my preferences for reading can be quanitifed, *anyone* can recommend a book to me, and that book might come directly from the author.

I have some favorite authors. Without exception, once they get popular, their subsequent work goes downhill fast. Their "publisher" will print whatever they write, as soon as they write it, with little polish or craft. To hit the big time, authors had to work, and they lose that ethic real quickly once the bucks roll in.

If AAPL wanted to kill it all, they'd make a eBook reader as a one-trick pony with eInk that syncs as an iOS device. Then give the thing away with the purchase of 10 books in the iBookstore. And if BN, Amazon, et. al. had any sense, they'd beat them to the punch by doing that now. No money in the devices - just the content.
post #38 of 62
Two ways to get onto iBooks for iPhone/iPad:

1. Downloaded ePub book, drag to DropBox, and open to iBooks.

OR

2. download ePub book, email to yourself as attachment, and open attachment in Mail.app to launch it in iBooks.

Pottermore should include this information for users.
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehead Dave View Post

Not that I wouldn't want this to be available in iBooks, but what's the point? Hasn't anyone even remotely interested in the series read all the books by now?

This might have been bigger news five years ago before the final book came out.

You're aware that new people are born every day, right, and that some kids books have been around for a century or more, right?
post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by titomcgee View Post

If you bothered to research a little better, you'd know that you can only purchase the books through Rowling's Pottermore site. Take a look on the Kindle store - it only provides a link for purchase on her site - they aren't getting any revenue. So they aren't actually boxing out Apple.

Exactly right, this article totally blew it. NONE of the other stores are selling it, just linking to Rowling's site (and amazon.com and the Kindle store don't even seem to have links from their website yet that I can find, assuming they do at all at some point). So nothing specific to apple at all, she's just selling them herself.

It's really more of a surprise that Apple isn't selling the Hunger Games series, those are available from Amazon as ebooks.

Also, if you want to see something hilarious, search for Rowling in the Kindle app's store. There's quite a title to show up as the first listing for someone trying to find a Harry Potter ebook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

While I like Stephen Fry, I never have understood why anyone would want an "audiobook" (except for the obvious case of being blind).

Driving, exercising, doing basic mindless things like housework etc. It's a great way to take in more books during time that's otherwise wasted.
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