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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Harry Potter and the case of the delayed eBooks

The official Harry Potter eBooks were due to launch this month, but they have now been put back to early 2012. J K Rowling's camp are blaming technical problems with the Pottermore website but rumours flying around the industry are that there is a legal problem between Rowling, her print publishers and her one time agent, Christopher Little.

The much-anticipated launch of the Harry Potter ebooks was initially scheduled for October 2011, when the interactive Pottermore website was set to open up to general use. But the one million beta users of the site have been "incredibly active, interacting with the site far more intensely and frequently than we thought they would", according to officials, with 550m page views already chalked up since it opened in August. The Wizard's Duel feature has proved to be "even more popular than … anticipated", and has been withdrawn until it can "cope with the large number of users we expect".

As a result, Potter's debut in the digital book arena has been delayed until the first half of 2012, while general access to Pottermore will be in phases from the end of October. "We've seen really high levels of activity, and interaction with the site has been phenomenal. This affects how quickly we can give everyone access," said the site's official blog. "Access may be granted quickly, but please note it could also take some weeks or months, depending on demand."

Delaying the ebooks and digital audiobooks launch will, said Pottermore, "allow us to focus on our first priority: opening Pottermore to as many people as possible and making the experience as good as it can be".

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