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Pottermore might not support the Kindle

Google announced today that they were going to handle payments and that the Google eBookstore would be one option for how you can store and manage your HP ebooks. A friend asked whether I thought Google would offer Mobi format, because we all know that Pottermore will sell ebooks in all formats.

Well, no. I’m not so sure it will support the Kindle.

Update: Someone with Kindle PR was kind enough to contact me and set the record straight. Here’s what I was told: "We’re working closely with Pottermore to make sure Kindle customers will be able to buy and read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books." I’m not used to Amazon answering questions, so whenever they do it comes as a surprise.

I’ve had this topic sitting on my desk since shortly after  Pottermore launched. I couldn’t get definite info either way so I never posted it. But let me tell you what I know so far, and you can be as confused as I am.

There are several official releases from the launch of Pottermore: JK Rowling’s video, the press releases, etc. None actually mention the specific formats that Pottermore will sell. (While Rowling did mention ebooks in her video, she did not say Epub, Kindle, or any other specific format.)

But there are reports on what Pottermore will support. Wired UK have a pot saying that the Kindle ebooks will be sold, and I followed up with that journalist. She said that she heard about the Kindle support at the press conference.  She was the second person to tell me this, so I will take it as fact. And then there was a story posted on CNN Money, and that article said basically the same thing. That article’s source was with Bloomsbury, publisher of the Harry Potter series.

I’m sure you’re thinking those are ironclad sources, but here’s my problem. I followed up with Pottermore, and I could not get their marketing people to confirm any details. I asked about DRM, format support, and other general ebook stuff, and I was told:

Ebook details won’t be announced until closer to the site and shop opening in October.

I don’t mean to imply that anyone posted bogus info, but I also don’t know that they were given the correct details. If this really were a settled issue, then wouldn’t the marketing people have the answer?

And doesn’t today’s announcement make you wonder? I mean, if Pottermore were going to support Kindle format, wouldn’t they have put out their own press release stating how ebooks will be handled?

If anyone cares to go bug the Pottermore people and push them into making a definite statement, be my guest. Right now, ebook support is still a question, not a fact. We don’t know for sure that the Kindle will be supported. I think the answer is yes, but I don’t actually know that it will be.

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Alexander Inglis July 20, 2011 um 12:41 pm

If the ebooks are DRM free, Kindle is supported with .mobi. It would be pointless, economic "suicide" to NOT support Kindle owners. Pottermore goes live July 31; perhaps some further news is imminent. Ms Rowling has NEVER shown one shred of inkling on any topic that she’s willing to "leave money on the table". You can be certain Kindle will be supported.

Nate Hoffelder July 20, 2011 um 12:53 pm

Just because they will sell you an Epub you can convert does not mean that they support the Kindle. There’s a big difference between not having DRM and actually supporting the format.

Andrys July 20, 2011 um 1:59 pm

At the time of the announcement, Kindle was mentioned in almost every article.

Also, Overdrive was to be taking care of a lot of this, and they are providing the means by which Kindle books will be loanable from public libraries without needing to go through Adobe. I imagine they will be helping to take care of Kindle books in the same way with Pottermore.

Google made an announcement, but it’s Google-centered as far as info goes. They mentioned 'other ereaders’…

Without DRM, there is just no problem anyway, since an ePub book is converted to Kindle/Mobi format within 2 minutes . As Alexander says, it’s both zero-effort by default and she’d have no reason not to make it available for Kindle.

Nate Hoffelder July 20, 2011 um 2:12 pm

Just because everyone says the same thing doesn’t mean it’s true. I ma probably wrong, I admit, but the issue is still undecided.

Kindle will be getting Harry Potter ebooks after all – The Digital Reader July 20, 2011 um 7:17 pm

[…] · No Comments · ebookstore news // Earlier today I worked my way through a valid (but completely wrong) argument how we didn’t know for sure that the kindle would get Harry Potter ebooks. Amazon noted my […]

Mike Cane July 21, 2011 um 9:33 am

Zzzzz. Wake me up when you all agree with what I posted at the time: Kindle will have the Potter books.

rwalke32 September 18, 2011 um 12:24 am

I dont understand why people buy kindles when they pretty much only support one format. Makes no sense to me!

fjtorres September 18, 2011 um 7:22 am

Do you really want an answer to that or are you just expressing frustration at Kindle’s success?

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