Harry Potter books can now be purchased digitally, but not from the iBookstore

27 March, 2012 - Killian Bell

J.K. Rowling’s hugely successful series of Harry Potter books finally made their way into the digital ePub format today, allowing you to download and read every title on your Mac, iOS device, or Kindle. One place you won’t be able to purchase them, however, is the iBookstore.

Rowling has launched her own store called the Pottermore Shop, where all seven titles are available to purchase with prices ranging from £5 ($8) to £7 ($10). Or you can purchase the entire collection for £38.64 ($57.54). The e-books are also available to purchase from a number of other online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Sony.

Of course, the only major bookstore missing from that list is Apple’s iBookstore. Neither Apple or Rowling have provided a reason for this, but it is believed that Rowling wasn’t willing to throw Apple the 30% of revenue it demands from all authors, developers, and publishers that sell their content through the App Store or iBookstore.

By selling the titles through her own store, and through the iBookstore’s competitors, Rowling is able to hold onto more of that revenue herself. And who can blame her?

But while you cannot purchase these titles on your iOS devices, you can still read them on them. The ePub format is compatible with the iBooks application, allowing you to purchase them from whichever outlet you choose and sync them to your device via iTunes.

What do you think of Rowling’s decision not to sell the Harry Potter series through the iBookstore?

About the author

Killian Bell is a freelance journalist based in Worcestershire UK. In addition to writing about all things Apple, he's one of the co-founders of the football site TitleTalk. You can follow him on and Twitter.