A First for Harry Potter

This Monday, J.K. Rowling and her publishers finally released the Harry Potter series as eBooks.  It’s been a long time coming for HP fans everywhere, and the question is, “Why now?”

I can understand why Rowling didn’t want to release them earlier.  She’s famously protective of her series, and putting them out as eBooks could have given way to piracy issues.  Even so, it’s great that she’s decided to go through with it.

It occurs to me that she and her publishers most likely wanted to have the eBooks out before Pottermore is released to the public in April (you’re going to love it, guys).  It only makes sense, then, to do it a week or two before the release.

So now they’re out there.  The eBooks are among us, and now you can download Harry Potter on your Kindle/Nook/iPad/et cetera anytime you like.  (Go here for the Web site where you can buy them.)  This, of course, opens up another kind of discussion: was Rowling right to withhold the possibility of eBooks for all these years?  Should she have released them online as soon as technology allowed it?  And what does this mean for other authors?  Should we all be just as cautious when considering online publication?

I, for one, respect her decision not to publish her books online until now.  In today’s world of piracy and copyright infringement, you really can’t be too careful (not that I’m in any way an expert on the matter).  And although it means fans had to buy the more expensive paper copies, as far as I’ve seen the majority of people didn’t really care.

Now, sure, Rowling could afford to do this because of the immense popularity of her books.  I’m certain for other authors the story is different.  But what do you think, readers?  Should eBooks be made available immediately with every book that comes out?  Or should the author be able to decide and possibly keep eBooks from happening?

In related news, OH MY GOODNESS J.K. ROWLING IS WRITING A NEW BOOK!!!  Not another Harry book, which is just fine with me (I’m not a fan of series running more than their due course), and it’s for adults this time, but OH MY GOODNESS CAPS LOCK DOES NOT FULLY EXPRESS MY FANGIRLY JOY!!!  I can’t even imagine what it will be about.  It will, in all likelihood, be something completely and wonderfully different than anything we’ve seen from her before.  I’m definitely going to be watching for more news of this.  Who’s with me?

Happy reading.

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11 thoughts on “A First for Harry Potter

  1. I’m with you!!! J.K.’s words are where I turn everytime..when I’ve grown disenchanted with the state of the world;)

  2. I’ve been thinking of doing a post about this. So far I’ve tried to stay neutral on the whole eBook debate on my blog. But I really just…. *shudders* I hate the idea that the next generation of readers may be sitting there reading Harry Potter as an eBook rather than a physical copy. I know that it shouldn’t matter how people read, only that they do read. The problem is my head is telling me one thing, and my heart another.
    I completely respect J.K Rowlings choice to wait to publish on eBooks, I think every author should have a right to choose. However, I know for most authors it wouldn’t be a good buisness desicion.

    As for the new book, I’m definitely keeping an eye out and fangirling along with you!

    • I do like paper a lot more than digital copies, but I have to come to terms with the fact that our society is increasingly turning to the Internet and online books. I take into consideration that some people might not have easy access to a book store or don’t have room or money for tons of physical books. In those cases, an e-reader may be the best choice. It may not seem, for lack of a better term, genuine to introduce kids to Harry through a eBook, but I think I’m going to have to make my peace with the issue.

  3. I was so excited to hear about Rowling’s new book too! Although, to be honest, I feel slightly sorry for her because everyone will compare it to Harry Potter…

    I also, like beckday6 in the comment above, can respect JK Rowling’s decision to delay the release of the eBooks because it was her choice and it encouraged people to buy the real paperbacks/hardbacks (which are more expensive); however, for most authors this would mean limiting their sales. I think authors should have the right to decide for themselves whether to go digital or not.

    • The limitations that come with merely physical publication is exactly the type of thing I’m worried about. Rowling had room to hold off on eBooks because by the time they became a thing she was already unbelievably popular. But lesser-known authors would want their potential audience to have as many opportunities to read the book as possible. For them, it seems like an easy choice to release digitally, but I’m not sure myself whether I would want my books to be read on Kindles or Nooks. I think eBooks take away from the experience of reading, but that’s just me.
      As for the New Book, comparisons will be inevitable, but I for one will try and do my best to enjoy it for what it is. I see this as an opportunity for Rowling to start moving away from Harry and I can’t wait to see what she does with this freedom to write whatever she wants.

  4. I can’t wait to hear some more about this upcoming J.K. Rowling novel either! (!) If ever there has been a time for excessive punctuation, it is NOW.

    It’s certainly felt like long enough since the final Potter book too (I did, in a sense, enjoy the films, but in no way did they make me feel as tragically excited and fangirly in the way the book series did). I’m so excited to see what she’s been working on…

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