Olivia Solon has blogged on Wired that JK Rowling will Self Publish Via e-books in a new venture called Pottermore.
Wow, this is a breakthrough for e-books and it also looks like it will be a wonderful web site.
After a week of heavy speculation, JK Rowling has revealed that she is to self-publish the e-books to her mind-bogglingly successful Harry Potter series through her newly-announced proprietary platform, Pottermore.
While self-publishing in itself is not new -- Stephen King has been distributing self-published chapters since 2000 and others, including Amanda Hocking, J.A. Konrath and more recently John Locke have sold millions of copies through the Kindle store -- Rowling is without a doubt the single most significant author to have turned their back on established publishing houses at a time when the industry is in limbo and the tools are available to create meaningful and innovative digital publications untethered from a small stranglehold of publishers whose businesses are built upon the printed page.
The crucial parallel between Radiohead and Rowling is the fact that they both put their faith in the fans rather than any intermediary. For Radiohead, this meant self-releasing their album In Rainbows after the end of their contract with EMI with an honesty-box pricing strategy. For Rowling it means keeping the e-books DRM-free and trusting her fans not to pirate her works rather than assuming that they will. Rowling is instead opting for a digital watermarking system that links the identify of the purchaser to the copy of the ebook. This doesn't prevent people sharing copies on the web, but does try to ensure that any copies will be traceable to a buyer.
Because the books are said to be "available on any platform", there will need to be some sort of arrangement with the likes of Amazon and iBooks -- whether commercial or logistical -- to ensure that readers can enjoy Potter on their Kindles and iPads...