According to a report in the U.K.’s The Register, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling plans to release all seven Harry Potter novels as e-books exclusively on Sony e-reader devices for a limited time beginning in November.
Rowling has partnered with Sony to build Pottermore, her new online outlet for interactive gaming, new Potter content and all-things-Harry Potter, including e-book sales. Now in beta, Pottermore is slated to go live in October. If the account is true, the deal would certainly provide a shot in the arm for Sony e-reading devices, which lag behind their competitors in sales and market cachet.
According to The Register, Sony is paying Rowling “millions” for the right to release all seven Harry Potter novels exclusively on its e-reading devices—including forthcoming Sony tablet devices—through the Pottermore site beginning in November. (The Register says the site would offer an online Harry Potter "reading experience" beginning in October.) The exclusive Sony deal is said to be limited and the Pottermore site would begin selling Harry Potter e-books for all devices beginning in January 2012.
Contacted by PW, Sony spokesperson Maya Wasserman declined to confirm or deny the report but provided an official Sony statement, “as we have previously announced, the site will be an outlet for Sony products designed for Potter fans. We have previously said that [Sony] Reader might be a logical product category for a partnership, however we have not yet released any details about any new Sony Readers, including any Pottermore related products, and any details being reported are purely speculative.”
Sony currently produces a suite of three e-Ink readers that were redesigned and upgraded in 2010: the 5 inch Pocket Edition ($179), 6 inch Touch Edition ($229) and the 7 inch Daily Edition with Wi-fi ($299). The devices are all black and white e-ink screens and they are priced higher than the comparable models of their competitors. Earlier this summer Sony also announced plans to release two new tablet devices with Android 3.0 or Honeycomb, the Android OS optimized for tablets. Both tablets—a 9.4 inch device and dual-screen tablet with two 5.5 inch screens that open into a larger format—are slated for release in the fall.
If The Register is right, Harry Potter may get a chance to cast a spell over Sony’s e-reader business—at least until 2012.