The seven Harry Potter books come to the Apple iBooks Store as ‘enhanced’ editions
The enhanced versions of the J.K. Rowling series will please iOS device-owning Harry Potter fans, though as eBooks they pale in comparison to some of the work produced by digital-first publishers
The Harry Potter books have come to iBooks as enhanced editions. Each edition costs $9.99, which is both more than Amazon is charging for the paperback edition, and a dollar more than the Kindle edition.
Anyone hoping for an interactive edition similar to, say, The Mozart Project, will be sadly disappointed. These are simple eBooks with the occasional artwork or animation thrown in. Nothing terribly special other than they are exclusive to the iBooks Store.
It probably would have been better for Apple to spend some of its own talent working on these books rather than leave it up to the publisher, but that is the nature of eBooks these days. The best work is being done by independent publishers, committed to digital books first.
Apple recently updated its own eBook software program, iBooks Author, brining the program up to version 2.4. The update was minor, adding support for the Pop-Over widget to ePub templates. (Those who work with iBooks Author continue to far more enthusiastic about the software than is Apple.)
Here is the announcement for the enhanced editions of the Harry Potter books:
CUPERTINO, California and LONDON — October 8, 2015 — Apple today announced that enhanced editions of all seven books in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series are now available exclusively on the iBooks Store for readers around the world to enjoy on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac. Customers can download individual books featuring full original text, interactive animations and elaborate artwork bringing these beloved stories to life in a unique way. Harry Potter fans will also find annotations throughout their literary journey, written by the author herself.
“I’m thrilled to see the Harry Potter books so beautifully realised on iBooks for the digital world; the artwork and animations in these enhanced editions bring the stories alive in a delightful new way,” said J.K. Rowling.
“Harry Potter fans are going to love how their favorite stories come to life,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “J.K. Rowling’s legendary series is perfect for enjoying on your iPad or iPhone and we’re thrilled to offer them exclusively on the iBooks Store.”
Until now, the Harry Potter digital books have only been available for readers to purchase through the Pottermore Shop. Starting today, iBooks® users can experience the books with all new exclusive custom covers for each title, and typography including the custom Harry Potter typefaces and new section headers and drop caps.
The iBooks Store is available in 52 countries and offers dozens of categories including cookbooks, history books, biographies, picture books and children’s books, with free books available in 155 countries.
Today, the Harry Potter Enhanced Editions are available in English for $9.99 (USD) each in 32 countries. Pre-orders also begin today for French, German and Spanish versions, and will be available on November 9 in 18 additional countries.
Harry Potter fans can explore other magical content including Harry Potter movies, soundtrack albums and apps on the custom Harry Potter page on iBooks at www.iTunes.com/HarryPotter.