In case you haven't seen the headlines, J.K. Rowling made an announcement early this morning U.S time. She is launching a new website called Pottermore, which appears to be an interactive reading website for the Harry Potter books. The website's features will be launched in October, but it looks like there will be an early beta release in late summer for a smaller number of fans.
The big news — at least for me — is that they will be selling ebook versions of the Harry Potter books on Pottermore. Rowling hasn't allowed the books to be released in ebook form in the past, so this is a big deal for those of us with ebook readers! Instead of selling through booksellers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon, however, J.K. Rowling has decided to sell the ebooks herself, via OverDrive (an ebook sales outlet that most people know of as the provider of library ebooks). She wanted to retain more control of the prices and sales of the ebooks, and she also wanted to be sure that the ebooks were available for ALL e-readers, since the major ebooks sellers (i.e., Amazon and Barnes & Noble) sell ebooks for specific devices.
I'm looking forward to the release of the ebooks, but I'm a little anxious about how much they plan to charge for them. Hopefully it's not more than the typical prices for bestselling releases (generally $9.99 to $14.99). There will also be some previously unreleased material, which for now is going to be exclusive to the ebook versions. So exciting — October can't come soon enough!