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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pottermore Revealed

J.K. Rowling today unveiled Pottermore.com, an interactive site pertaining to all things about The Boy Who Lived.  The site will open to a million fans on Harry Potter's birthday, July 31, and then go live for the rest of us muggles in October.

The bigger news, in my opinion, is that Rowling plans to finally release the series in ebook format (also due out in October); however, the ebooks will only be available through Pottermore.com.

What does this mean exactly?  For one, Rowling has just kicked both her publishers and every distributor to the curb, which is all too reminiscent of when Stephen King ventured off on his own and released THE PLANT via his website back in 2000.  However, King did not have the benefit of e-readers, tablets, and smart phones.  But let's put all that aside and focus on the effects this will have on the industry.

So far, sales of children's ebooks have been lackluster at best.  Besides Rick Roirdan and a few others, we haven't seen much action in this area.  And I suspect most of the people buying these titles are adults.

The most common speculation as to why children are not embracing ebooks is because the devices are still too expensive, but I don't buy into that theory.  Most children have an iPod, Nintendo DS, Xbox, PlayStation, etc.  Some kids have all of these devices plus an iPad.  And every one of these devices costs more than a Kindle or nook.   I believe the more reasonable answer is that kids just don't read enough to justify a dedicated ereader.  Maybe the Potter-effect will change that, maybe not.  Either way, it's certainly going to bring a lot of attention to the children's ebook market, and that's a good thing.

Overall, I'd say Rowling has just destroyed at least three of the publishing world's Horcruxes.  She also might've just changed the whole landscape for self-published writers and the children's ebook market.

And she did it with this little announcement...  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On Reading Horror

This month's Hellnotes article is all about exploring the deep and rich history that the horror genre has to offer.  It's about learning your craft the old fashion way: by watching a professional at work.

You can check it out here: On Reading Horror

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