Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Still no e-books for Potter
Ever wonder why you don't see e-books online for the Potter series? Well, it turns out mostly, it's just not good business. Not in the line of 'childrens' books' that is. While such authors as Michael Crichton may do booming business in e-books, previous attempts at tossing out young adult books never seem to bring in the same results.
Several reasons are cited, from authors preferring books on paper to concerns over digital piracy to competition from television and other media. But the greatest problem is the lack of a popular reading device, a handicap that has held back the whole e-book business from the start.
"I didn't think then, and I don't think now, that there is a cool enough or interesting enough hardware to get the kids engaged," says Barbara Marcus, president of the children's books division of Rowling's U.S. publisher, Scholastic, Inc.

"One of the fantasies I had was of kids walking around, without backpacks, and somebody would say, 'You have to read Of Mice and Men and The Red Badge of Courage. Here are the e-books.' That fantasy hasn't happened."

Industry officials agree that Potter e-books would have great advantages: an enormous fan base; appeal to readers of fantasy novels, which sell relatively well in electronic form; and appeal to adult readers, an asset that helped persuade Random House to release e-books for Christopher Paolini's popular Eragon novels.
"There's just not a market for books that don't have appeal to adults, because they're the ones with the devices at this time," says Linda Leonard, associate director of new media marketing for Random House Children's Books. "It is kind of frustrating. Kids are tech savvy, but we can't reach them."

**However, personally speaking, it's rather nice to see that todays' youth still remembers WHAT a book is, and how to turn a page. In this day and age of computers and video games, Rowling, along with other grand authors such as D.J. MacHale and Daniel Handler, have brought back a love of books. And it's always good to see someone curled up with a good book, versus sitting in front of the television with a game controller in hand. ;)

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