Wednesday, April 1, 2009

(April Fools) J.K. Rowling Publishes Harry Potter Ebooks at Smashwords

Big news today at Smashwords, almost too good to be true.

J.K. Rowling, one of the best selling authors of all time, is well known for her previous reluctance to release the Harry Potter series in ebook form.

Today, that reluctance fell by the wayside when Ms. Rowling learned first hand how easy it is to publish a DRM-free, multi-format ebook at Smashwords.

Here's a snippet of our press release, issued April 1:
Los Gatos, Calif., April 1, 2009 -- In a move likely to send shock waves through the book publishing industry, author J.K. Rowling today published all seven Harry Potter titles as multi-format ebooks with the ebook self-publishing service Smashwords.

“Publishing with Smashwords was incredibly easy, and you don’t need to study at Hogwarts to master its magic,” said J.K. Rowling. “With a few waves of my mouse - my Harry Potter books instantly materialized online in multiple ebook formats, ready for immediate sampling and sale.”

The news came as a pleasant surprise to some industry watchers. “Until today, J.K. Rowling refused to allow her books to be published in ebook form,” said Hobson Gobnobbler, editor of the popular ebook industry blog, DigitalBookNews.com. “This is big news for Rowling fans everywhere, and it’s especially significant she’s making the ebooks available without copy protection. It means she trusts her customers to not pirate her books.”

According to Neil Blair, Rowling’s lawyer, the decision to publish with Smashwords was a simple one. “Smashwords offers an 85 percent net royalty on all ebook sales, much higher than we could negotiate with any of the commercial publishers, and infinitely higher than the nothing we’re getting from all the ebook pirating sites.”
Read the rest of the April 1 press release in the Smashwords Press Room

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