Harry Potter Comes To E-Readers… But Not The iBookstore


Don't expect Harry Potter or Near-Dead Dumbledore to appear on the iBookstore.

J.K. Rowling’s enormously successful Harry Potter series is about an incompetent orphan who lucks his way through a series of magical adventures despite being essentially inept. Tens of millions of people — myself included! — have enjoyed them over the course of the last decade, but only in dead tree form. Bizarrely, Harry Potter has never officially come to e-books up until now.

Of course, no longer. As one last magical trick, Harry Potter has made the jump to a number of e-book stores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google and Sony. The only company left out? Apple’s iBookstore.

Although Apple hasn’t commented on the matter yet it appears that Apple was not able to come to terms with J.K. Rowling on selling the Harry Potter series in the iBookstore. And it’s easy to see why.

In publishing the Harry Potter series in e-book form, J.K. Rowling wanted to make sure she walked away with the biggest piece of the pie. Therefore, she is selling the Harry Potter e-books directly from her website, PotterMore, and the deals she has struck with the likes of Google, Amazon, et al. These deals allow J.K. Rowling to sell the Harry Potter books from her own site, keep most of the money, but have them delivered like normal e-books in third-parties’ e-reading apps.

Pretty clever, but of course, Apple wasn’t going to have any of it: they want their 30% cut, end of story, and they’d say no to Voldemort himself if he came asking.

Of course, if you can’t live without Harry Potter on your device, you can still buy it through the likes of Amazon, or directly through Pottermore, and then load it up in iBooks manually through your computer.

  • RobertPruitt

    I am a little offended by your summary ” Harry Potter series is about an incompetent orphan who lucks his way through a series of magical adventures despite being essentially inept.”

    Have you read the series? Inept? He’s the youngest seeker in over 100 years. He fought Lord Voldemordt and survived. He has defended himself from countless Death Eaters. He provided the complete Defense Against the Dark Arts training secretly during year 5 which helped the students fend off waves of attacks during the Battle of Hogwarts. He is the youngest wizard in his generation with the ability to summon a Patronus charm. I could go on and on. He relied heavily on the talents of his friends to assist with large tasks such as breaking into Gringotts bank, the Ministry of Magic et cetera. This article explains well while relying on friends isn’t a weakness but a strength (http://sonofsci.com/lessons-in-enduring-friendship-from-harry-potter/).

    Anyway, I hope you reconsider your summary or at least will know there is quite a bit more to it than you think.

  • FriarNurgle

    You can get these books for free at the library.

  • Harleypeyton

    So…how do I ” load it up in iBooks manually through your computer”?

  • Wolfemsw

    You can’t get The Hunger Games series, either. If you can’t get the greatest and best-selling books of all time in the iBook store, then what good is the fancy iBook Reader app? Apple is just not on par with Amazon. iBooks are also more expensive than Kindle books. If you have a Kindle device and Prime, all books (and 2-day shipping on all products purchased from Amazon) are free for only $70 per year. And, you can loan and borrow books to and from other people (14 days), and store all of you books in the cloud for free. Apple really needs to step up their game if they are going to compete in the ebook market. For now, I’m going to stick with Kindle books for my iPad, even though the Kindle Reader app is quite as “smooth and polished” as the iBook app.

  • Matthew Cremona

    As long as the book is in epub you can just drag and drop them onto iTunes and you’ll get them in the ibooks app with all the fancy page turning font changing etc. (proof: http://i.imgur.com/VqzHB.jpg not much of a reader but still)