Amazon, B&N make concessions for Potter ebooks

Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:50pm EDT
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By Alistair Barr

(Reuters) - Inc and Barnes & Noble Inc unveiled Harry Potter e-books on Tuesday in deals that suggest the companies made big concessions with author J.K. Rowling for electronic access to the hit series.

Amazon said it struck a distribution deal with J.K. Rowling's new website

Amazon customers can search for the Harry Potter e-books in the company's Kindle Store, but will be directed to the Pottermore Shop to register and buy them, then add the titles to their Kindle library, the company said.

Users of Amazon's Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablet will be able to read the e-books through those devices and through applications on other devices.

Barnes & Noble made a similar announcement, saying that customers of its Nook e-readers and tablets can buy Harry Potter e-books through the Pottermore Shop.

Sending customers away from and Barnes & Noble's website is a big concession for the companies because J.K. Rowling's Pottermore site will be able to collect customer information and credit card details. This is valuable information that e-commerce companies usually carefully guard.

"They are her customers now. She knows about them because they have registered with her site," said Mike Shatzkin, head of digital publishing consulting firm The Idea Logical Company. "It's a huge concession. Amazing."

BEATLE POWER   Continued...

British author JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series of books, poses with 12 year olds Kent children Ivy Aris (R) of Marden and Simran Sethi from Maidstone during the launch of new online website Pottermore in London June 23, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett