Harry Potter Ebooks & Multiple Formats

Here’s a quick update. I sent Pottermore a question about what format you get when you “buy” a Harry Potter ebook. They responded (very quickly, I might add) that you aren’t buying a format. When you make a purchase it appears in your “My books” list. From the “My books” page you can download the ebook in whatever format you like, up to their limit of 8 downloads.

So you could link your purchase to the Amazon store, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and still download the EPUB file to sideload onto an e-reader using Adobe’s Digital Editions and have only used 4 of your 8 available downloads. That’s pretty cool. I hope other books, authors, and publishers will be able to create similar agreements so that buying content doesn’t tie you to a specific device or store.

This is really good news for consumers. I’d still like to actually own the ebooks I buy, though, when I’m paying for a book I want to keep. DRM or not, I want to be able to do what I want with the copy I bought. That doesn’t include making multiple copies to pass around. But I should be able to loan my copy to a friend without being labeled a pirate.

On the other hand, I don’t want to own every book I read. That’s why I go to the library. I’d be willing to rent an ebook and pay $.99 or $1.99 to have it for 30 or 60 days. That’s not the maximum I would pay, necessarily, but those prices would be an easy sale. I’d get to skip the hold list at the library and hopefully have  a longer period of time to read the book. But when I’m done, the file goes away, and I’m not saddled with an ebook I can’t resell or even donate.

Is this crazy-talk?


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