November 25, 2020

OverDrive's Direct Involvement With Today's JK Rowling/Harry Potter News

It’s likely that you’ve read, seen and/or discussed today’s JK Rowling/Harry Potter news by this hour.

If not, you can take a look here, here (video of announcement and news conference) and here.

In a nutshell, Rowling’s new Pottermore web site (launches July 31st) will be home to, “new material about Harry Potter characters, places, and objects.” In addition, an ebookstore will open this Fall (October) on the site where readers will be able to purchase eBook editions of the seven Harry Potter novels. Aside from the news about the eBooks themselves, the big news is that Rowling’s company will sell the books on the web site and bypass Amazon.com and others.  The eBooks will be accessible in a number of eBook formats including those that can be read on the Kindle.

Publishers who hold the rights to the books will also be involved. For example, Scholastic will be “connecting teachers and parents from our school and online channels directly to ebook sales via Pottermore and providing can marketing and promotion support.”

How will the eBooks be distributed over the Internet?

According to several reports, OverDrive and what we believe is their MIDAS ebookstore platform will take care of it. The platform provides a number of services from hosting the content, handling online sales technical management, DRM services, developing a eBookstore web site, etc.

Harlequin‘s online eBookstore is powered by OverDrive’s MIDAS platform.

UPDATE: Chris Meadows at TeleRead summarizes a Wired article that reports the first Harry Potter will be distributed DRM-free but with digital watermarks.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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