Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final novel in a fantasy book series that you may have heard of, was released almost five years ago. However, digitally-inclined readers haven't been able to purchase Harry Potter ebooks — until today. The entire series is now available in ePub format, or for the Kindle, Nook, Google Play, and Sony Reader platforms at Pottermore.com. Once you create a Pottermore account and buy a book (the first three are $7.99 each, the final four $9.99 each), you can download it up to eight times in any format you choose. The Wall Street Journal notes that each retailer gets a cut of the sales, but Apple's iTunes Store is notably absent — you'll need the ePub version if you want to read in iBooks.
Once you assign your purchase to a service (we tried an Amazon Kindle purchase), it behaves just as any Kindle book does. You can download it as many times as you want to your Kindle, it shows up with all other purchased books, and works on any device that Amazon has an app for (including the iPad). We also downloaded the ePub version and easily synced it to our iPad; it opened in iBooks without issue. These digital rights felt pretty reasonable to us — you could assign a copy to each of the four supported services, download an ePub copy, and still have three downloads remaining.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon's making a big splash over finally having Harry Potter for Kindle — Amazon's homepage features a "Muggles Rejoice" banner trumpeting Harry Potter on Kindle, but when you click through, the Amazon tells you to purchase at Pottermore.com; everything is funneled through Rowling's site. For users who have gotten used to buying ebooks directly through Amazon, the iTunes Store, or Barnes & Noble's Nook store, this process is a bit more complicated, but the flexibility of pushing books across multiple platforms probably makes it worthwhile; your Harry Potter collection is future-proof should you decide to switch e-readers.
The ebooks themselves are nicely formatted, with original illustrations intact, but there's no bonus material here — though the WSJ notes that "enhanced editions" will video and audio content will eventually follow. While these books are faithful recreations of the print counterparts, some Harry Potter fans might want to wait for those enhanced editions. Pottermore.com is set to come out of "beta" in April, so we'll see if there's any news on enhanced versions then.