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Thread: Pottermore is a website to watch

  1. #1
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    Default Pottermore is a website to watch

    J K Rowling's website is little more than a mood board today http://www.pottermore.com/
    But in early April the website is going live and, as Reuters report, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/0...82Q10K20120327 the mighty Amazon has caved in and agreed to send customers to her site instead of insisting on making the sale themselves. JK Rowling had the great good sense to retain the electronic publishing rights to her books. This puts her in a position that every other author would like to be in!

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    Going to be a very interesting one to watch. It's also going to be interesting to see the effect this has on the traditional book publishing industry. Self publishing has already made a significant difference to the music industry and the games industry, but there's no easy parallel to draw because none of the developers or musicians who've gone down that route have been the JK Rowling of their industries. On the other hand it could change absolutely nothing. JKR is possibly unique in that her work was done (apparently) before digital publishing rights were a standard part of the contract, but whose back catalogue is still likely to sell in relatively large quantities 15 years later.

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    There are some eBook millionaires http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011...nt-kindle.html and there are stories of dead tree publishers looking at self-published eBook hits and asking the authors if they can do a print edition. So the eBook edition becomes a testing ground for print books, instead of sending 'manuscripts' to readers to solicit opinions. I think the big consequence of Pottermore will be that authors are much more aware of the self-publishing option.

  4. #4

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    So the eBook edition becomes a testing ground for print books, instead of sending 'manuscripts' to readers to solicit opinions.
    That's a very interesting point. Much lower costs, and much less risk. I've only just bought a Kindle so I'm just getting my head around eBooks, but maybe paper books will become luxury items, a bit like the enormous, and lavish, vinyl box sets which started appearing a few years ago. The problem is that at that point, the poor author will probably be tied into a contract. Unless they self-publish, which can work, as that link shows. But it relies on the author to either edit their own book (problematic) or employ their own editor (expensive). Not to mention marketing.

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    See the last few paragraphs of this post for confirmation of you idea http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/di...ublishing-cool

  6. #6

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    I'm not sure that would be such a bad thing either. A small publishing house called Hill House released a special edition of Neil Gaiman's American Gods—750 copies, numbered and signed—which was designed to be 'a miracle of the book-maker's art' (as related by Gaiman in his introduction to the non-luxury 10th anniversary edition). It was the book equivalent of a director's cut, and as the text was significantly revised from the original, it came with a reader's copy, so that you could leave the special edition itself untouched. I can imagine similar ventures offering a free eBook in future instead.

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