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?