Pottermore Lessons (which I refuse to call "Learnings")

So, Pottermore exists, and it is a thing.

(But don't click on that link until after the 24th of June when the rush has died down a bit.)

It appears that, contrary to early reports, the benevolent queen of children's / YA / Tweener / Crossover wizard tales has cut Bloomsbury in on the deal - unless 'partnership' in this context means that she does the electronic side and they smile and pretend to be happy and get more print sales out of Pottermore.

In either case, the lessons which were drawn from those reports remain valid: I don't think anyone feels it would have been impossible for her to go it alone. I mean, y'know. It's Harry Potter.


That said, I'm more interested in the things she did do. She sidestepped Amazon, the iBook Store, and the rest, partnered with OverDrive, and - aside from being able to control quality and product, she doesn't have to give either of those redoubtable outfits their percentage. 

Because Harry Potter is a brand which can stand alone. But look, seriously: this is a powerful way of doing things and it's one which booksellers and publishers can do for themselves. They can (you can) develop a brand identity which becomes a go-to destination. Did you like, say, Ben Aaronovitch's Moon Over Soho? Good! Go to the Gollancz website and click to buy and download the next one! (No, all right, you can't, and when you try you actually get morphed to Orion Books, which makes perfect sense to anyone who works in our industry but is ridiculous if you don't) but you should be able to. I'm not taking a pop at Gollancz, by the way; their site is friendlier than many.

A publisher could dump a Q R code on the jacket of the paper edition. Or the last page. Or produce an ebook reader with a barcode reader and a point of sale app built in. 

Come on, folks. Let's roll. Because this is what I was talking about the other day: authors do NOT want to disintermediate their publishers. But we will also not sit around while we get served up to the big content providers on a salver.