News

Rowling opens door to digital Harry Potter books

J K Rowling looks set allow Harry Potter fans to read her novels as e-books at last.

Neil Blair, partner at the Christopher Little Agency (CLA) which represents Rowling, said the agency was “currently considering all the options and opportunities that this evolving space provides”. The agency was “actively” looking, whereas previously it had just been “monitoring the developing area”, he said.

Richard Charkin, executive director of Rowling’s print publisher Bloomsbury, declined to comment on whether Bloomsbury was in discussions with the author on e-book plans, saying: “That’s between us and CLA.”

Waterstone’s e-books buyer Alex Ingram said: “Our customers have been asking for Harry Potter on e-book since we launched digital books on Waterstones.com in September 2008. So have we, and it’s great that we may be about to get our wish come true.” He added: “I’ve no doubt [Rowling’s]  about to change our perceptions of what level of sales e-books can achieve.”

Peter Collingridge of Enhanced Editions said the question for any agent was who the best partner was in each new media territory. “Is it the print publisher, an app developer, a computer games company?” he said.

The Florida-based theme park, “The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter”, built in collaboration with Rowling, will open on 18th June. Meanwhile, the first film in the two-part adaptation of the final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be released in November, when Bloomsbury will publish the Harry Potter novels with new jacket designs.

Comments: Scroll down for the latest comments and to have your say

By posting on this website you agree to the Bookseller comments policy. Comments go direct to live please be relevant, brief and definitely not abusive. Report any "unsuitable comments by clicking the links"

Welcome to the 1990's, JK!

I hope these ebooks aren't multimedia "experiences". That would suck. I want to (re-)read the books, not "experience" them.

Why bother pirating them again? They're fully available out there already. Those files have obviously affected the sales of HP enormously. I think JKR is in the workhouse as a consequence

I have been looking for Harry Potter books as ebooks or audiobooks for some considerable time. It is about time that they are finally going to be released.

Denise, Audio books read by Stephen Fry have been out for years. Where have you been looking

I've bought all these books as soon as they were released and I'd love to buy them all over again as an ebook. It seems silly that it's taken so long. When I downloaded my first reading app I immediately searched for the HP series but sadly they didn't exist. I know I'm not the only one willing to pay good money to own a digital copy of books that I already paid for. I just don't get how these aren't available yet when there's money to be made.

Hurry up with this - HP might not have been the first series that I thought of buying for my Sony eReader but I would love to get hold of them as I think they would be perfect for it (in the meantime I am making do with Terry Brooks' Landover series)

Audio books read by Jim Dale are AWESOME. He gives audio books a good name. If they were all read by him, I would never go to the movies! I am anxiously awaiting the ebooks.

Ahh! Enter eBunks. The end of the magic that is real reading.

I'm glad that Ms.Rowling has finally decided to authorize the HP ebooks. I know her main concern was ebook pirating, but consider this: I bought 5 of the 7 HP books I own used, and how much money did Rowling make off those? $0. Now think of how much money she'll make when I buy the ebook versions of all of them, because none of them are available as free used copies. I wonder at all why authors are worried about Ebook pirating and not hard copy re-selling, seems like that does a lot more damage since used books are often resold multiple times?

She could make a fortune......Even though I have hard cover copies of these books, they were the first I looked for when I got my Nook only to be disappointed they weren't available. I am anxiously awaiting e-book release.

@ Gary how is this the end of Real reading? Isn't it the story that's important rather than what its printed on? all it does is take away a need to kill a tree...

Besides that I've made a habit of taking my HP books with me when I travel even tho they take up quite a bit of space in my carry on. finally having them readable on my iPad will be more convenient :)

I read much more now that I gave a kindle ap. I used to read three or four books a week, but holding books, especially hardcovers, are so hard for me now. I had hand surgery on one hand and am going to have the other operated at some point and it just hurts. Now, I'm reading more and more again.

I bought the last HP book but never read it because I couldn't hold it. Spoken books bore me. My mind travels too much listening to books on tape. It's just not for me. But eBooks have been a godsend. I hope to finally read the last HP book!

Please, please, please get them in ebook format. We homeschool due to extensive business travel, and packing an ebook is certainly takes less space than the 7 Harry Potter books! My son has shown an interest and I'd love to be able to acquire them legally to encourage his reading habits.

Can this freakin hurry up!! I bought a Nook hoping to buy the HP books and reread them on there and they don't have it! PLEASE HURRY

When will they be available for the nook???

I bought the nook specifically for the HP books... I re-read them at least twice each year, and I travel a lot. So, I figured with an e-reader I wouldn't have to carry the bulky books everywhere. I already own the actual books, as well as the audio ones, and I would have no problem paying another $100 for the digital copies. Crazy?! Maybe. But I am planning on purchasing them as soon as they are available.

I bought my iPad in hopes of never having to travel real books again. Little did I know that writers would actually be foregoing the venue of ebooks that had already been in existence as a well accepted media outlet for years.

After repeated searches of Apple's bookstore for the Potter books I finally googled Potter ebooks and found this sight. I thank you for the article. I thank you for helping me realize it wasn't a matter of my ignorance of how to search for the books under title/subject/author that led to my failure to legally purchase ebook copies of them that would give the author her fair share of royalyties for her works but instead it was a matter of the author's and her agents and publishers greed that stopped my chance to give her more of my money.

That's it. I don't need HP and I dont need to read these books again after all. Sorry but the very fact that after all these years, that she still hasn't signed an acceptable agreement to ebooks on ANY carrier has pissed me off to the her entire world of HP. Do I think my feelings matter to the richest woman in the UK or her agents or publishers? Not in the slightest. But I can keep encouraging my friends to never buy her books and only share previously purchased copies with each other. As for helping her with royalties from the films....thank god for street pirated copies in NYC.
STOP TREATING YOUR FANS LIKE CRAP! Your millions come from us.

I bought my iPad in hopes of never having to travel real books again. Little did I know that writers would actually be foregoing the venue of ebooks that had already been in existence as a well accepted media outlet for years.

After repeated searches of Apple's bookstore for the Potter books I finally googled Potter ebooks and found this sight. I thank you for the article. I thank you for helping me realize it wasn't a matter of my ignorance of how to search for the books under title/subject/author that led to my failure to legally purchase ebook copies of them that would give the author her fair share of royalyties for her works but instead it was a matter of the author's and her agents and publishers greed that stopped my chance to give her more of my money.

That's it. I don't need HP and I dont need to read these books again after all. Sorry but the very fact that after all these years, that she still hasn't signed an acceptable agreement to ebooks on ANY carrier has pissed me off to the her entire world of HP. Do I think my feelings matter to the richest woman in the UK or her agents or publishers? Not in the slightest. But I can keep encouraging my friends to never buy her books and only share previously purchased copies with each other. As for helping her with royalties from the films....thank god for street pirated copies in NYC.
STOP TREATING YOUR FANS LIKE CRAP! Your millions come from us.

Aaaaaannnnnnddd.... it's now September and we have yet to see the Harry Potter books hit electronic format. Legally I should say. WTH woman, get with the times.

This is dumb - I was finally about to read the HP series which I have avoided for years and now I find I can't give them my money? Forget it, maybe I'll check again in another 13 years.

Welcome to the 1990's, JK!

I hope these ebooks aren't multimedia "experiences". That would suck. I want to (re-)read the books, not "experience" them.

Why bother pirating them again? They're fully available out there already. Those files have obviously affected the sales of HP enormously. I think JKR is in the workhouse as a consequence

I have been looking for Harry Potter books as ebooks or audiobooks for some considerable time. It is about time that they are finally going to be released.

Denise, Audio books read by Stephen Fry have been out for years. Where have you been looking

I've bought all these books as soon as they were released and I'd love to buy them all over again as an ebook. It seems silly that it's taken so long. When I downloaded my first reading app I immediately searched for the HP series but sadly they didn't exist. I know I'm not the only one willing to pay good money to own a digital copy of books that I already paid for. I just don't get how these aren't available yet when there's money to be made.

Hurry up with this - HP might not have been the first series that I thought of buying for my Sony eReader but I would love to get hold of them as I think they would be perfect for it (in the meantime I am making do with Terry Brooks' Landover series)

Audio books read by Jim Dale are AWESOME. He gives audio books a good name. If they were all read by him, I would never go to the movies! I am anxiously awaiting the ebooks.

Ahh! Enter eBunks. The end of the magic that is real reading.

I'm glad that Ms.Rowling has finally decided to authorize the HP ebooks. I know her main concern was ebook pirating, but consider this: I bought 5 of the 7 HP books I own used, and how much money did Rowling make off those? $0. Now think of how much money she'll make when I buy the ebook versions of all of them, because none of them are available as free used copies. I wonder at all why authors are worried about Ebook pirating and not hard copy re-selling, seems like that does a lot more damage since used books are often resold multiple times?

She could make a fortune......Even though I have hard cover copies of these books, they were the first I looked for when I got my Nook only to be disappointed they weren't available. I am anxiously awaiting e-book release.

@ Gary how is this the end of Real reading? Isn't it the story that's important rather than what its printed on? all it does is take away a need to kill a tree...

Besides that I've made a habit of taking my HP books with me when I travel even tho they take up quite a bit of space in my carry on. finally having them readable on my iPad will be more convenient :)

I read much more now that I gave a kindle ap. I used to read three or four books a week, but holding books, especially hardcovers, are so hard for me now. I had hand surgery on one hand and am going to have the other operated at some point and it just hurts. Now, I'm reading more and more again.

I bought the last HP book but never read it because I couldn't hold it. Spoken books bore me. My mind travels too much listening to books on tape. It's just not for me. But eBooks have been a godsend. I hope to finally read the last HP book!

Please, please, please get them in ebook format. We homeschool due to extensive business travel, and packing an ebook is certainly takes less space than the 7 Harry Potter books! My son has shown an interest and I'd love to be able to acquire them legally to encourage his reading habits.

Can this freakin hurry up!! I bought a Nook hoping to buy the HP books and reread them on there and they don't have it! PLEASE HURRY

When will they be available for the nook???

I bought the nook specifically for the HP books... I re-read them at least twice each year, and I travel a lot. So, I figured with an e-reader I wouldn't have to carry the bulky books everywhere. I already own the actual books, as well as the audio ones, and I would have no problem paying another $100 for the digital copies. Crazy?! Maybe. But I am planning on purchasing them as soon as they are available.

I bought my iPad in hopes of never having to travel real books again. Little did I know that writers would actually be foregoing the venue of ebooks that had already been in existence as a well accepted media outlet for years.

After repeated searches of Apple's bookstore for the Potter books I finally googled Potter ebooks and found this sight. I thank you for the article. I thank you for helping me realize it wasn't a matter of my ignorance of how to search for the books under title/subject/author that led to my failure to legally purchase ebook copies of them that would give the author her fair share of royalyties for her works but instead it was a matter of the author's and her agents and publishers greed that stopped my chance to give her more of my money.

That's it. I don't need HP and I dont need to read these books again after all. Sorry but the very fact that after all these years, that she still hasn't signed an acceptable agreement to ebooks on ANY carrier has pissed me off to the her entire world of HP. Do I think my feelings matter to the richest woman in the UK or her agents or publishers? Not in the slightest. But I can keep encouraging my friends to never buy her books and only share previously purchased copies with each other. As for helping her with royalties from the films....thank god for street pirated copies in NYC.
STOP TREATING YOUR FANS LIKE CRAP! Your millions come from us.

I bought my iPad in hopes of never having to travel real books again. Little did I know that writers would actually be foregoing the venue of ebooks that had already been in existence as a well accepted media outlet for years.

After repeated searches of Apple's bookstore for the Potter books I finally googled Potter ebooks and found this sight. I thank you for the article. I thank you for helping me realize it wasn't a matter of my ignorance of how to search for the books under title/subject/author that led to my failure to legally purchase ebook copies of them that would give the author her fair share of royalyties for her works but instead it was a matter of the author's and her agents and publishers greed that stopped my chance to give her more of my money.

That's it. I don't need HP and I dont need to read these books again after all. Sorry but the very fact that after all these years, that she still hasn't signed an acceptable agreement to ebooks on ANY carrier has pissed me off to the her entire world of HP. Do I think my feelings matter to the richest woman in the UK or her agents or publishers? Not in the slightest. But I can keep encouraging my friends to never buy her books and only share previously purchased copies with each other. As for helping her with royalties from the films....thank god for street pirated copies in NYC.
STOP TREATING YOUR FANS LIKE CRAP! Your millions come from us.

Aaaaaannnnnnddd.... it's now September and we have yet to see the Harry Potter books hit electronic format. Legally I should say. WTH woman, get with the times.

This is dumb - I was finally about to read the HP series which I have avoided for years and now I find I can't give them my money? Forget it, maybe I'll check again in another 13 years.

does anyone know when?
it's also about time!!!!!!

Although we don't know why JKR has not yet granted ebook publication I can understand if she first wanted children to get the magical feeling of reading a paper book. However, the hard and soft back versions have been out for sufficient time that one can easily find a paper copy. But I too wish that a ebook option was available. I wasn't sure I would like a ebook reader but once my Kindle arrived I quickly became fond of the lightness, the ease of setting a font size, keeping my place even when switching books, and the additional features of on-hand dictionary, notation, etc. I will gladly purchase the ebook version as soon as it is available AND keep my paper copies.

I wish they would hurry up with this.

My brother has never been a reader because his learning disability caused the words to move around the page. When he picked up my Kindle he discovered this doesn't happen with the Kindle screen.

If Rowling would agree to publishing a digital edition he would finally be able to experience the Harry Potter series in the way it was meant to be rather than just watching the movies.

I personally already have US hardback and UK paperback editions but would jump at re-buying them all in digital edition.

Too late.
The pirated version are available for ages on the internet.

This is how people betray themselves. They think everyone is waiting. And when they learn that you can't be without electronic sales in the year 2010, it's too late.
I guess JKR lost a lot of money.

please...when will the Deathly Hallows be on E-book

I really hope she does a deal with apple before the books to be in the bookstore.
I would love to have all the books with me to read on the plane for 9 hr flights or at my grandmas without having to carry all 7 pretty heavy books around with me.
I understand she dosnt want the end of book shops but the books are being pirated anyway right now in every ebook format. She's loosing a lot of money not just giving in to the high demand.
I think if she were to agree the books should be in there natural state not with extra animation, I don't want to be distracted from the world I travel into when reading the books.

We're almost at the 6 month mark and this is still the top article if you search for Harry Potter ebook. Get with the program and stop "considering" what to do. When the consumer makes a reasonable request and the market refuses to comply the Black Market is more than happy to provide.

JK your books will be pirated digitally even if you never allow them to be legally digitized, However, when you cease being stubborn millions of people will pay to download them legally. Is it that hard to understand?

Sigh... How can you be genious enough to write such books, then be thick enough to think that you're doing the right thing in sitting at home with your tens or hundreds of millions, accepting films that destroy the story but not allowing digital books that preserve the book while accepting the advantages of technology?

I completely agree with Alex K. Make it available as an e-book. I'm just waiting for my Kindle 3 hoping to that I will be able to download HP books soon. You'll be crazy to think that this will 'cause ebook piracy it's already rampant now still there's millions of HP fans and soon-to be fans awaiting for the ebook release.

I LOVE the Harry Potter books and was heartbroken when I learned how Harry Potter books were not eBooks, although I understand her train of thought. However I thoroughly hope she recondsiders.

Hopefully they will be released for Amazon for the Kindle!

I too hope that they will be released soon for Kindle. It is a great device and I would surely buy the complete series if it were available for the Kindle.

I have to agree with the majority...give us, the $ spending consumer, the HP eBooks we so richly deserve (and want, damnit!). I have an ethical issue with using pirated material of any sort and won't do it. BUT I really want HP novels for when I am out and about and the eReader formats are the best way.

I'm thinking about getting a Kindle (Wi-Fi version), There's a few books that I'd put on it. If the Harry Potter books were available, that could easily lead to me getting one. Cynical part of me suspects that although discussions are happening between J K Rowling and Bloomsbury that the books might not be available for E Readers until Deathly Hallows part 2 has finished in cinemas or possibly even released a few months after the DVD?

I, too, have a child with learning disabilities who seems to read well with a backlit iTouch using the Kindle app, where a regular book is impossible (and intimidates). The nature of my work is such that I cannot carry a book with me, but can carry an eReader. I have never read the Harry Potter books and was looking to purchase them when I received my Kindle 3 as a graduation gift, but no such luck. The minute they are available, we will be adding them to our Kindle library so our entire family can finally enjoy them as they are meant to be...READ with an imagination and not seen in bits and bobs.

Does anyone know when Harry Potter is coming to e-books?? I just can't wait!!!!!!!

I've liked these books from the beginning, and have grown to love them with each successive reading (and I've read the series many times). I find them deeper each time I read them. As much as I love print media- and I own a LOT of books- having bought an ereader (in my case an iPad) I've grudgingly come to see the benefits of that media format too. I like to intersperse new reading with old favorites, and I was greatly disappointed when I couldn't download all 7 of the Potter books so that I could have them ALL available, anytime and anywhere. Bravo, Ms. Rowling! It's my impression that she's always tried to serve a higher purpose (just read the books to understand why I say that), so I'm heartened to read that she's now open to this channel. While I prefer the iPad interface to Kindle, I hope she pursues all of them. The more people who have access to these books, the better! This can't happen soon enough for me!

Any news????? WHEN???? It's been almost 6 months since this announcement! I own the hard covers, don't believe in pirated copies, but really really would prefer them in ebook format for reading ease, those hard covers are too much for my hands/wrists to manage nowdays. And I'd like to reread them before the final movie comes out next year... they leave out so much.

Blimey Katie, calm down. I'll get you some crayons to colour in the paint-by-numbers plots if you like? Some nice pastel shades should calm you down. No more writing in green though, OK?

The poor lady is afraid to not get enough money.

I feel hard for her and I wish her, she will get paid another ridicolous amount of money to spend on luxury goods.

She is being a bit cheeky selling out to usa for a theme park but depriving uk HP fans of an eread on the commute

why cant you put them on e-book

but they are the bom

I have bought the hardback books and in books on CD. I would be willing to pay again just to have them in e-book form to have them with me. I work on the road and it would be great to "pick-up" the book to read any time.

It is great!

Glad to hear the Harry Potter books may soon join the eBook universe.

I have been waiting for the books to come out for the Kindle for quite some time! I am very excited to be able to purchase them soon! Please allow them to come out! I'd very much appreciate it!

well today (29/12/10) i was lookin at my realatives kindle just to get familiar to it when my kindle arrives but i was quite dissopointed to find no harry potter books in the marketplace and the harry potter books is the real reason why i bought a kindle so will th e novels be coming to kindle soon :p

Please, please, please, let us know when the Harry Potter books will be available for eReaders. I have not read any of them, nor have I seen the movies but I would love to begin from the first book forward and will buy all of them together if they are digitized.

Fantasy vs Real World
Missilier, Dec 31st, 2010 @ 7:35pm
Rowling's handlers are publishers under the impression that today's books will be around forever. The pulp paper used will degrade within 30 years. Once a book is placed on a shelf, provided you have the room, it will remain there untouched for decades - that's assuming the owner hasn't tossed it, or hasn't died. The ebook will contiually travel the Web. In many ways it will be the only means for some people to aquire the book. Time's change. Monks once spent their lives inking a copy of a book. Then the printing press arrived. Then pulp paper made them cheap enough for the masses. The masses being those who can afford to buy a $30, triple thick book. And, with that book you have to have a place to store it. There are very few individuals that can have a library in their house. I could go on about the days of the hard-copy coming to an end. The publishers that are smart see that the ebook is the future will be around in ten years. Those that hang on to the centuries old printing press will quickly disappear. How many of you out there still have the local paper delivered to your home? J K seek your freedom and insure that your words will be around for a hundred years and not just a few decades.

I am an avid reader and have bought all of The Harry Potter books but in moves have sadly lost some. I now have a Kindle and would love to read the e version of these books