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Wednesday News: Harry Potter eBooks Legitimately Available

My updates today are brief given my current real life work schedule.

Harry Potter books have been released in digital and audio format. The prices are US $7.99 each for the first three and $9.99 each for the last four. If you buy them direct from, they are DRM free and in epub format. If you choose to source them through a retailer, the retailers repackage them with DRM. ( Pottermore) You must create an account with Pottermore and actually purchase the books through the site. No one click buy. It’s not super easy but it’s not impossible either.

Interestingly, I think this is an example of pure Agency pricing. Pottermore stores and sources the digital book.

BEA will be opening its doors to the public for one day and only to a select few who obtain tickets. I wondered if it would be tickets found in chocolate bars. If so, I demand one Oopma Loopma per exhibitor.

BEA is going to partner with publishers, local booksellers, and libraries as well as other industry players to make a very limited and exclusive amount of tickets available to BEA for Thursday in 2012. Tickets will be exclusive and present a unique opportunity for tastemakers and passionate readers to get a glimpse behind the curtain.

I’m not sure who Glen Weldon is but he hilariously recreated The Hunger Games at his office. I would be afraid if I was his co workers though. He’s bloodthirsty. Via NPRMonkeySee

Contrary to what some industry insiders suggested earlier this year (article is titled “If This Story Is Right It Shows How Weak the Agency Lawsuits and Investigations Are”) regarding the DOJ’s investigation into alleged collusion by the publishers with Apple over retail price maintenance (aka agency pricing), the Wall Street Journal has come out with another article that contains some harsh words by the government’s antitrust lawyer.

The Justice Department isn’t taking aim at agency pricing itself. The department objects to, people familiar with the case say, coordination among companies that simultaneously decided to change their pricing policies.

“We don’t pick business models—that’s not our job,” Ms. Pozen says, without mentioning the case explicitly. “But when you see collusive behavior at the highest levels of companies, you know something’s wrong. And you’ve got to do something about it.”

I’m sure there are other deals and I promise on Friday I’ll put together a big juicy deals post but for now, content yourself with this pre order price.

  • Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase * $4.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


    1. Vi
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:20:15

      Jane, it’s $7.99 for books 1-3.

    2. Jane
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:22:29

      Thanks Vi. Changed in the post.

    3. Darlynne
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:33:43

      Wired has a great article this morning about agency, pricing and Apple. I actually understood some of it.

    4. Melissa Blue
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:44:22

      Definitely a good example of AP, but I think it’s also an example that a lot of people will pay it anyway. I’m not, but that’s because I own the hardbacks and the audiobooks. And the movies. But I’m so very, very tempted.

    5. Darlynne
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 10:56:27

      Barnes & Noble has Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula at $3.99 for its Daily Find today. The blurb from Neil Gaiman was enough for me to give it a try. The book is also at Amazon and probably everywhere else for the same price.

    6. HollyY
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 11:03:53

      The collection of all the e-books together is $57.54 which is a pretty good savings from buying them individually. And I’m one of those people that likes to read from beginning to end, so for me that’s the way to go.

    7. Las
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 11:23:22

      “If you choose to source them through a retailer, the retailers repackage them with DRM.”

      This reminds me: I recently decided to get serious about organizing and backing up my ebooks. I have a Nook so most of them are from B&N. I noticed that some of them didn’t have any DRM, and I know I bought them from B&N. Off the top of my head the non-DRM ebooks were Samhain, Loose ID, and self-pubs. I was surprised but then I assumed that B&N didn’t DRM books from certain publishers. Has anyone else noticed this? And if that is the case, is it likely that retailers won’t DRM Harry Potter?

    8. Melissa Blue
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 12:31:14


      DRM is up to the publisher. I believe.

    9. LG
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 12:47:50

      @Las: I noticed this while I was trying out someone else’s Nook. Although I was only getting free books to try, I didn’t want to get them directly via her Nook, afraid I might accidentally spend her money on something, so I got some free books via my BN account and sideloaded them onto her Nook. The first book I tried worked fine. The second book asked for credit card information, since the info that was used to purchase it didn’t match the Nook I was using’s registration info. That was how I learned the first book wasn’t DRM-protected. When I emailed BN and asked how it was possible to tell which of their e-books didn’t have DRM, they ignored my question and told me that all publishers required them to add DRM to the books they sell. If they would just indicate which books had DRM and which didn’t, I’d actually buy e-books from them. Since they don’t, I’ll continue to buy from places that are more upfront about that info.

    10. Lady Jaye
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 13:03:23

      Did you mean “Oompa Loompa”?

    11. Ros
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 13:10:42

      If you buy them from Pottermore, you are limited to 8 downloads. That worries me almost more than DRM.

    12. library addict
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 13:19:31

      @Ros: Ros, but if you use one of your downloads to send the book to say, Amazon, you may then download it from Amazon to your Kindle, your Kindle Fire, and your Kindle app and that all still only counts as one download. So it’s not quite as bad as it seems.

      I like the fact that if you buy all 7 books in the “complete collection,” you still get the books as individual files, not one big file which is the main drawback of buying bundles.

    13. Brian
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 13:26:44

      @Ros: This is true, but for example I used one of my downloads to link to Amazon (the same applies if you link to B&N or Sony) and that only counts as one download which you can then download from that linked retailer as much as you want from what I’ve been able to tell (linking to Amazon sent them to all of my devices on my Amazon account which is more than 8 and I still have 6 downloads left at Pottermore after doing Amazon and direct downloading ePubs).

      According to Amazon they’re DRMing their versions at Pottermore’s request. I assume it would be similar at B&N.

      Really dumb that the UK versions are geo-restricted for US customers, but I was able to get around the restrictions pretty easy to get UK copies.

    14. Angela
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 14:48:48

      @Brian: That’s what I’m going to do when I get home – get around the geo-restrictions to get UK copies, glad to know it’s not too difficult.

    15. Anthea Lawson
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 14:54:54

      Most self-publishers I know (self included) choose *not* to DRM their books – also a bunch of smaller presses (and Baen) don’t go there. :)

    16. Michelle
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 15:36:21

      Brian, could you share how to get the British version?

    17. Ros
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 15:47:31

      @Brian: Okay, that makes more sense. I haven’t bought them so I hadn’t realised you could do that.

    18. MaryK
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 16:20:20

      If all the HP books are coming from Pottermore, why are there geo restrictions? Are they having to share royalties with the original pub or something? Getting the UK version would be a good incentive/excuse for me to buy the ebooks even though I have them in paper.

      Are there any comparisons of the UK and US versions that tell how substantive the differences are?

    19. Susan
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 16:24:42

      The Hunger Games parody is a riot. Thanks for finding/posting.

    20. Brian
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 16:29:23

      @Michelle: Sure, I followed these instructions posted on Amazon’s forums…

      OK. I was able to figure out how to buy the UK version of the HP books when you have a US account. You will need 2 Pottermore Store accounts. You will need your main US one to buy the book and a second UK one to get the books. So you will need 2 e-mail addresses.

      1) Set up your main US account. This one will be where you buy the GB version.

      2) Change the Book Language to English(GB). Not the site language, the book language.

      3) You won’t be able to use the buy button. Use the gift link just below the buy button.

      4) Send the gift to yourself at a different e-mail address. Use UK as that gift recipients country.

      5) You can now check out as normal using your US credit card.

      6) Set up a second Pottermore Store account with the other email address, but this time select UK as the country of residence.

      7) You will get the gift code in that email account you set when you bought the gift. Use that code to accept the gift in your second Pottermore account.

      8) You will now have the UK version of the book. :) Go ahead and link your Amazon account and send it off to your Kindle. Even though it’s a US Amazon account it works just fine. You will get Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. YAY!!! :) In fact I now have both in my account with no problems.

    21. Brian
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 16:32:21

    22. Isobel Carr
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 17:14:51

      @Darlynne: The Anno Dracula series is great. I’m glad t see it out in E, as it was REALLY hard to find!

    23. Michelle
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 17:44:06


    24. Susan
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 20:04:43

      For the deals, there are also bundles coming out all the time. I don’t know how new these are but just today I saw some that I hadn’t seen before: Lydia Dare, Sally MacKenzie, Vanessa Kelly, and Elizabeth Boyle. There are some older ones that I wish I’d seen before I bought all of the individual books (Zoe Archer, Lilith Saintcrow).

    25. heidenkind
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 20:54:22

      Tastemakers and passionate readers, ooooh la la! Maybe we should have a Hunger Games-esque competition for the tickets?

    26. Darlynne
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 21:12:06

      Trying to find and identify ebook sales is like pulling threads that usually don’t go anywhere. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of searching regularly for my favorite authors to see what’s new, primarily because many of my favorites are outside of romance and not part of Jane’s great skill in hitting books over the head and dragging them into the DA cave.

      My random search again today–as in, hmmm, whom should I look for now–produced Robert McLiam Wilson’s fabulous Eureka Street: A Novel of Ireland Like No Other for $3.43 at BN. It’s $3.19 at Amazon and free to Prime members. (Go forth, readers, seek this book out, you’ll thank me in the end.)

      So how do we make this process easier for all books? I don’t mean it’s DA’s responsibility, not at all. But have any of you come up with a strategy, plan or magic spell to hunt down your favorite books/authors when they go on sale? ‘Cause we already own them in print and audio, why wouldn’t we also want them digitally?

    27. Keishon
      Mar 29, 2012 @ 00:05:52

      I wasn’t interested in buying the Harry Potter ebooks but changed my mind and decided to get the UK versions. I see someone already mentioned the workaround. It was quite easy.

    28. Meagan
      Mar 29, 2012 @ 02:28:08

      If you liked Glen Weldon’s Hunger Games twitter, you should listen to the Pop Culture Happy Hour blog on MonkeySee. He’s one of the four commentators on there–they’re all hilarious.

    29. Meagan
      Mar 29, 2012 @ 02:30:06

    30. MaryK
      Mar 29, 2012 @ 11:23:43

      BTW, I’m #3 on the hold list for the digital audio of Azkaban at my library. YAY. When I checked out the CDs, one got stuck in my car’s CD player! I was thisclose to having to buy them a new copy.

    31. Susan
      Mar 29, 2012 @ 13:40:44

      @Darlynne: Thanks for the reccie. I did see that Amazon had 2 Kindle versions of this book. One was priced at $3.19, as you noted. The other was $14.32 (but free to borrow/read for Prime members). So, if anyone’s interested in buying a copy, make sure you find the cheaper one.

    32. Karmyn
      Mar 30, 2012 @ 12:32:34

      I am so happy to see the Harry Potter books available for e-readers. I bought the bundle this morning and will be reading them as much as possible today. I got the US version as I didn’t know it was possible to get the UK version, but that’s okay. I have the UK versions on cd that a friend gave me right after Deathly Hallows came out.

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