JZ Editorial: Harry Potter digital arm loses millions and sheds jobs.

“IT WAS hailed as a revolution in publishing that would allow one of the world’s best-selling authors to control her own empire and add to her fortune.”

Source: Harry Potter digital arm loses £6m and sheds jobs – The Scotsman

 

One part of the above article struck me as annoying. If you have a read at it you’ll see it.

“But amid a decline in ebook sales and a print renaissance, even the phenomenon that is Harry Potter is not immune to global trends.”

This is a ‘fact’ that should rankle anyone in the ebook industry – be they authors, publishers, or other industry people. This ‘fact’ is drawn only from the big publishers. It is THEY who have experienced a drop in ebook sales, and it is only THEY, and other publishers who choose to participate in the reporting of sales, who provide the (mis)information that the ebook industry is in decline.

What about the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of authors who in their droves now choose to leave those very publishers and self-publish? What about the massive sales of ebooks by the #1 global book retailer, Amazon?

NONE OF THOSE SALES FORM PART OF THE ‘REPORTS’ OF A DECLINING EBOOK INDUSTRY!

That’s right. Amazon do not release their sales figures. Self-publishing authors are not asked for their sales figures. Independent publishers are not asked for their sales figures. The ‘reports’ of a declining ebook industry are based on a mere fraction of lop-sided figures from just a few entities in publishing (and ironically those who were at the outset dead-set AGAINST ebooks). The much more likely truth of the matter is that the ebook industry is extremely healthy and still growing. In 2014 it was estimated that almost ONE MILLION ebooks were released through Amazon’s KDP publishing platform.

Ms Rowling resisted placing the Potter books into the ebook domain for so long, before deciding in 2011 to do so in a manner in which she could still control the books. She started ‘Pottermore’ – her own platform for selling the Potter ebooks to the fans hungry for them. It has now failed, largely due to existing fans getting their fill, no further Potter content, and no new fans coming in. So now you can find the Potter books appearing on the likes of Amazon, but it is still NOT Amazon who are selling it. If you click to buy you are still directed to Pottermore for the sale! The only difference is the ebook is sent directly to your device.

The mistake was made long ago when there was ongoing resistance to allowing anyone else to sell ‘Potter’. OK, Ms Rowling may have already made her fortunes from the franchise, but in doing so has denied for so long something many people already knew:

YOU NEED TO PUBLISH IN DIGITAL FORM.

The ebook industry NOT in the decline that so many are reporting it to be... Click To Tweet

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One thought on “JZ Editorial: Harry Potter digital arm loses millions and sheds jobs.

  1. I suspect the real reason for the loss was not just related to ebook sales, but the alienation of diehard fans by the total redesign of the website and the removal of the gaming aspects.

    In addition the new website featured the films very strongly; again ignoring, or totally misunderstanding, the core fanbase for the site.

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