Amazon said Thursday it has signed a deal for the electronic books rights to all seven Harry Potter titles in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish for its Kindle lending library.
The deal allows subscribers of the Amazon Prime service, which requires an annual subscription, to borrow the electronic versions of best-selling JK Rowling books.
Amazon said it inked the exclusive license with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website to make the titles available to its customers via the Kindle e-reader.
But the deal only allows for borrowing of the ebooks, with Pottermore remaining the only place to buy the electronic versions.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have reached this agreement with Pottermore. This is the kind of significant investment in the Kindle ecosystem that we’ll continue to make on behalf of Kindle owners,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive.
“It’s a commercial deal that makes sense even with a level of cannibalization of my sales,” Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne tells paidContent, “but I believe it will actually drive greater sales.”
“The way the deal is structured means that any lost sales are more than made up for,” Redmayne says. “Yes, some people will borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and therefore not buy, but Amazon is paying us a large amount of money for that right, and I believe it’s a commercial deal that makes sense.”
Moreover, Redmayne says the deal “enables people to discover Harry Potter” and thinks that most of the time, readers who “kind of wanted to [buy Harry Potter books] but haven’t…will go to KOLL, discover the brilliance of Jo Rowling’s writing and want to buy the rest and own the set.” Redmayne pointed to some statistics Amazon previously released: The company said that in the case of the Hunger Games trilogy, which is available through KOLL, nineteen percent of customers who borrowed the first book in the trilogy went on to purchase one of the later books instead of waiting another thirty days to borrow it.
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