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Charlie Redmayne steps down as Pottermore CEO to become HarperCollins CEO
July 2, 2013 | 7:53 pm

On paidContent, Laura Hazard Owen reports that Charlie Redmayne has just boarded the Hogwarts Express to take him back to the land of the muggles. He’s stepping down as CEO of Pottermore and taking the CEO helm of HarperCollins. Prior to helping found Pottermore in 2011, Redmayne was EVP and chief digital officer for HarperCollins. One reason for the change is that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp just spun its publishing arm, including HC, off into a separate company, and the previous CEO, Victoria Barnsley, felt it was a good time to leave. Pottermore’s CTO Julian Thomas will serve as...

Ten years after publication, The Time Traveler’s Wife to come to e-books
June 10, 2013 | 5:09 pm

the-time-travelers-wifeThe Guardian reports that author Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, is finally giving the go-ahead for an e-book version of her popular 2003 novel to be published through new independent e-book site Zola Books that her agent is starting. She is also writing a short-story-length sequel for the site. Niffenegger said that she was sitting on the book not because she was a “weird book luddite,” but because she was “preserving [her] ebook virginity” because she didn’t feel e-books had lived up to their full potential yet. Then Zola Books came along, based on the principle...

Pottermore adds e-book gifting, Tales of Beedle the Bard
November 20, 2012 | 6:51 pm

Just in time for the holiday season, the Pottermore e-book shop has added gifting options for Harry Potter e-books and audiobooks. The gift e-books or audiobooks can be bought any time from up to six months in advance through the day on which they should be delivered. The books may be downloaded up to eight times each. All Pottermore e-books are multiformat and DRM-free. Pottermore has also just made the tie-in story collection The Tales of Beedle the Bard available as an e-book for the first time, for £3.99 in the U.K. and $5.99 in the U.S., with a...

Books4Spain founder predicts end of most e-book DRM within 2 years
July 9, 2012 | 6:49 pm

padlock[1]On Publishing Perspectives, Rod Younger of European e-book store Books4Spain had a guest column a few days ago discussing what might become of DRM. Younger discusses difficulties in e-book distribution (wanting to carry a book from a publisher not currently available through the distributor his store uses) and notes that, as difficult as distribution questions are already, DRM adds a layer of complexity that is both unnecessary and unwanted. Younger notes how smoothly Amazon has locked customers in with its Kindle DRM—it’s all so easy and seamless customers never even notice their books are locked up, until they want...

Sony e-reader sells 500,000 units in Europe
May 29, 2012 | 12:14 am

French book news site ActuaLitté reports (in French) that Sony’s PRS T1 149-Euro touchscreen e-reader has sold over 500,000 units in Europe—reportedly not far behind the sales of Amazon’s Kindle. It’s a little tricky to make sense of the Google-translated text, but ActuaLitté seems to report that the Sony’s biggest problem is the lack of a library integrated into the device. The existing store is slow, but Sony says it is seeking a partner who can meet Sony’s performance demands. Meanwhile, competitor Kobo is invading Europe, and a possible Barnes & Noble European expansion could be on the...

If publishers cannot control e-book retail prices, how should they set their own?
May 18, 2012 | 12:45 am

On the Columbia Journalism Review, Ryan Chittum has a rebuttal to a number of recent posts about e-book production costs and price, including the post by Mathew Ingram that I covered here. Though the article is replete with quotes and counter-arguments, but the central thrust seems to be that publishers ought to be able to charge what they want to—but they really should be wanting to charge less. At base, copyright holders have the right to ask what they want to get for their work (which is why they were so concerned about Amazon selling ebooks...

Kobo begins selling Harry Potter e-books through Pottermore
May 17, 2012 | 2:15 pm

Kobo has joined Amazon and Barnes & Noble on the Hogwarts Express. The Bookseller reports that Kobo has launched its own Harry Potter e-book store. As with the others, it redirects customers to Pottermore to make the actual purchase, then allows them to link their Kobo and Pottermore accounts so they can download the books directly into their Kobo readers or apps. A spokesperson for Kobo added: “Unique to Kobo, readers will also be able to track their progress in books with awards from Kobo Reading Life, and share their thoughts on exciting passages with Kobo...

Pottermore CEO discusses Amazon lending deal
May 10, 2012 | 11:50 pm

paidContent has talked to Charlie Redmayne, the CEO of Pottermore, about the deal Amazon announced to add the Harry Potter titles to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, the program that lets Prime-subscribing Kindle owners check out one e-book per month for free. Redmayne admits that the deal may cannibalize some sales, but he believes it will drive even greater sales as readers check out the first book and decide they want to read them all right away. And Amazon is paying “a large amount of money” for the right to lend the e-books, which will also help make...

In wake of Pottermore releases, Harry Potter piracy fought by community, Mike Shatzkin reports
April 25, 2012 | 1:25 am

In Mike Shatzkin’s latest essay about publishing, collecting his insights about this year’s London Book Fair, an interesting paragraph leaps out at me. Shatzkin was talking to Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne about the DRM-free release of the Harry Potter books, and reports being startled by what Redmayne had to say about Potter piracy: Apparently, Potter ebook files started showing up on file-sharing sites pretty much right away after they opened. But before they could serve any takedown notices, Charlie says the community of sharers reacted. They said “C’mon now. Here we have a publisher doing what...

Pottermore opens to the public
April 15, 2012 | 3:34 pm

The Bookseller reports that, after a closed beta that lasted a lot longer than originally promised, the Pottermore website based around the Harry Potter books has finally fully opened to the public. The site began taking on new users very early Saturday morning, intentionally opening at a time of low demand, but even as the day went on, Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne said that traffic rates were not “anywhere near a level that we are concerned about.” The reason for the extended closed beta was to get the site ready to handle the expected high traffic, and Redmayne...

Potter (sells) more: £1 million of e-books sold in 3 days, says CEO Redmayne
April 4, 2012 | 9:45 pm

Wonder how well the Harry Potter e-books are selling? PaidContent reports that it could have been tricky to figure out, given that the books will not appear on the e-book bestseller lists of any of the e-book stores that are working in conjunction with Pottermore to sell it. However, Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne appeared on The Bookseller’s “The Naked Book” podcast to reveal that the site sold over £1 million ($1.59 million) worth of e-books in the first three days. (The show itself doesn’t appear to be available on The Naked Book’s page yet, but probably will be...

Harry Potter e-book reaction roundup
March 28, 2012 | 12:06 am

amazon-potterWell, the Harry Potter e-books are out, and they’re making a splash. There are a number of reactions being reported on the web to various aspects of the announcement, and it interests me to look at some of them. For starters, Tim Carmody at Wired calls attention to the fact that Amazon and Barnes & Noble are both unprecedentedly referring customers to Pottermore to register and buy the books, then automatically adding them to their respective e-reader accounts. (And both of them are promoting the Potter e-books on their respective front pages as if the sales were their own...

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