Yet More Potter
The Harry Potter industry excels at eking out the franchise. There were only ever going to be seven novels in the series, but they've been turned into eight films – the last of which will be released in a couple of weeks – and countless other spin-offs. It was announced (or 'confirmed') today – at a press conference at the V&A and on YouTube, how else – that a website, Pottermore, will be launched in the autumn to sell exclusive ebook versions of the novels. And it seems – on the surface at least – to have been set up without any of the usual wrangling between online booksellers, ereader manufacturers, publisher, agents etc. But that's the totalising power of the Harry Potter brand for you: everyone's happy to take a small slice of the massive pie. J.K. Rowling used to say that she didn't want to release the novels as ebooks because of fears that they'd be pirated – as if they weren't being pirated already, and making legitimate versions available wouldn't be the best way to prevent it. It looks now as if there was a canny business decision behind the delaying tactics. It's surely no coincidence that the new website will go live soon after the final film stops being shown in cinemas.