It’s taken…well, far too many years, actually, but Harry Potter might finally be getting around to entering the 21st century. The Scotsman newspaper reports that after years ignoring the format, JK Rowling is considering e-book versions of all seven installments of the series that made her name. The newspaper quotes Liz Thomson, editor of publishing industry site BookBrunch, as suggesting that the rights may be worth £100m, going on to say that “Experts believe that move could revolutionize the world of electronic publishing, triggering rocket sales of e-book readers such as Kindle and the iPad.”
I hate to be a party pooper (as in ‘this might not actually be true’) but I’m not sure I agree with the idea that the digital versions of the books would be that big a deal; surely the time for that kind of impact has passed, given that the series finished four years ago.
The same Scotsman story quotes another expert as likening the digital launch of Potter to the Beatles finally releasing their music on iTunes, and I think that’s a much more apt comparison, but not for the reasons intended: Sure, the Beatles’ digital music release brought lots of sales for the Beatles and a bump for iTunes, but it hardly revolutionized the industry, in part because the hardcore fans either already owned the material or had downloaded bootlegs.
Why should it be any different for Harry?
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