Next, a few comments and reviews about the new Pottermore Shop that has been launched today:
First of all, you can only purchase the books from the Pottermore site. This is really unusual. On Amazon’s page they actually push you there. There is no other Kindle book sold in this way. It is a big deal. Second, how often can you download a book? Apparently, 8 times. But that is 8 times on any device. So if you have a Kindle and your kid has an iPad you only have to buy the book once. This is a cross-platform purchase.
Dedicated users of existing ebook stores face pointless barriers, so rather than opening her market up to people (like me) who have still never read the books but might decide to do so if they crossed the path of their normal ebook-shopping activities, Rowling has limited herself primarily to existing fans who are willing to jump through hoops for an electronic version.
Just like The Beatles, JK Rowling is considered to have the popularity with consumers to persuade Amazon to bend over backwards to secure her co-operation. “JK Rowling is the Beatles,” Shatzkin said. “Amazon decided that having the Potter books to sell was more important than the control they usually insist on.” Jim Friedland, an analyst at Cowen & Co, told Reuters that Amazon most likely accepted a lower cut of sales of Harry Potter eBooks, potentially down from the usual 30% to just 10%. However, Friendland noted that the move would enable the firm to persuade more people to invest in Kindle devices due to the enduring popularity of Harry Potter.
Rowling has chosen to do a number of interesting things with her e-books, including releasing them without digital-rights management restrictions. Obviously, the success of the Potter series has given Rowling the ability to effectively dictate terms to just about anyone, even a powerhouse like Amazon, but there are still lessons that other book publishers should take from what she is doing.
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