Pottermore defends selling e-books directly

Pottermore has responded to retailers' frustrations over being unable to sell the Harry Potter e-books, saying the idea was to "ensure ease of availability across all reading devices".

Retailers hit out at J K Rowling's decision to sell the Harry Potter e-books directly through her Pottermore website, which will launch in October. A Pottermore spokesperson said: "Pottermore is designed to encourage the reading and re-reading of the Harry Potter books in all formats and editions, both print and digital, to both existing and new generations of readers. We think this will have a positive effect on those selling physical books as well as on sales of digital ones."

He added: "The decision to make e-books exclusive to the site was to ensure ease of availability across all reading devices and to the widest possible audience and also to support the ultimate intention of the site to be an online reading experience.”

Among the retailers who attacked the Pottermore plans was Waterstone's. A spokesman for the chain said last week: "We always sought to add value for the fans when a new Harry Potter book was released and their launch days have become the stuff of legend at Waterstone's and other booksellers.

"We're therefore disappointed that, having been a key factor in the growth of the Harry Potter phenomenon since the first book was published, the book trade is effectively banned from selling the long-awaited e-book editions of the series."