Update 21 July 2011: It appears that Google Books is not going to be the only partner for U.S. ebook sales, but rather one partner among others. Original post follows.

A new blog post from Google today says that the company will be handling J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore.com ebook sales for U.S. customers, and that Google Checkout will be promoted (worldwide?) as the primary way to pay for things on the site:

“Also under this agreement, Google Checkout will be the preferred third party payment platform for all purchases made on Pottermore.com. When you visit the Pottermore Shop, you’ll be able to pay for your purchases using Google Checkout, in addition to using a debit or credit card.”

I’m still a little puzzled about how Pottermore + Google Books will provide DRM-free Harry Potter books that can work on the Kindle platform, because I’ve only ever seen .epub or .pdf files available for download from the Google eBookstore.

“Pottermore and Google team up to enable Harry Potter ebooks push to Google Books libraries” via The Digital Reader


  1. Library books are coming to Kindle this fall, so perhaps a future Kindle update will add epub support to the device. If not, the Kindle does support PDF, but I really hope they’re not going that route.

  2. Hi Chris, I read the Inside Google Books post, and I think that you misunderstood a portion of it. It essentially says that Pottermore will be selling eBooks that are compatible with Google Books, and that Google Checkout will be a payment option, but it doesn’t say that Google Books will be handling sales for Pottermore. As I understand it, the fulfillment architecture is being provided by OverDrive, which as you know is working with Amazon to implement support for the Kindle format(s).

  3. That would certainly make more sense, although even a re-reading of the announcement leaves me confused. (I think Google was deliberately trying to emphasize Google Ebooks at the expense of clear communication.) Thanks for pointing it out!

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