Happy 4th of July America. May the coming year bring love, hope, and prosperity.
Something extraordinary happened this month in the world of writing. A monumental game changer. The most successful author in the world bypassed traditional publishing to open her own website. J. K. Rowling opened up the world of Pottermore. “Pottermore is a free website that builds an exciting online experience around the reading of the Harry Potter books.” It hasn’t even opened yet, and the chatter around the world is buzzing.
Rowling has bypassed Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Smashwords, and all the other avenues available for eBooks buyers to offer her own readers the opportunity to purchase the Harry Potter series exclusively from Pottermore as eBooks. That’s right. No middle man. Imagine the collective gasp coming from the publishing world.
Think about it. Millions (possibly billions) of fans, flocking to a place out in cyberspace where the Harry Potter phenomena lives. When the website debuted over a week ago, it told fans to leave their email and Pottermore would let them know when the doors will officially open for business. There was one small problem. The website was instantly overwhelmed. A message popped up saying they had all the emails they could take and to come back later.
Then it occurred to me. What if Rowling decides to start another series? It would be an instant success. And now that she has her own website, she wouldn’t have to use a publishing house at all. Could it be possible that the majority of books will be eBooks in the near future and bookstores will be begging for paper books? Will other famous authors decide to open shop?
Already, eBooks have turned the picturebook into interactive editions through iPads and other mobile devices. A child can press the screen and it invites them to interact with an activity. Or they can go straight to an interactive app that teaches and stretches a child’s thinking.
One of my Facebook friends, Roxie Munro has been busy at work delivering cutting edge books for kids.
Roxie’s a-MAZE-ing VacationAdventure is a top app where kids will need to think, use all their observation and thinking skills to go through the 16 beautifully illustrated screens. All the illustrations are done by famous Roxie Munro, author and illustrator of 35 books for children (including Mazescapes; Amazement Park; The Inside-Outside Books of New York City (New York Times Best Illustrated Award)).
Makes me wonder what else is coming down the pike. It will be interesting to see what happens with Pottermore and the other ground breaking trends on the horizon. Are we witnessing the slow demise of the publisher? Is the internet doing to publishers what Amazon did to bookstores?