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Harry Potter Temporarily Nuked Amazon's Kindle Store

By - Source: The Verge | B 13 comments

Amazon's Kindle Store was reportedly down for the count for about an hour after the Harry Potter books hit its store shelves with a magical one-two punch.

Tuesday was a very special day for Harry Potter fans, as author J.K. Rowling finally released her popular series in ebook form. The virtual books initially went live on her Pottermore website for English-reading fans, and will be followed by editions in French, Italian, German and Spanish in a future wave. The first three Harry Potter titles are priced at $7.99 each, while the remaining four titles, which are longer, cost $9.99 each.

After the initial launch, the seven Harry Potter books then appeared on virtual stores provided by Sony, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Unlike the Pottermore storefront where Rowling will keep most of the revenue, the three ebook giants will get their fair cut of the sales. So far Apple isn't offering the books, meaning iOS users will need to make purchases via the Kindle and Nook apps.

Veteran digital publishing executive Charlie Redmayne was reportedly brought in to get Rowling's storefront on track. He said that there wouldn't be a huge marketing campaign for the Harry Potter books because high demand for the titles will be enough to drive serious sales. He's probably right, as consumer demand reportedly took down Amazon's Kindle Store shortly after the online retailer began offering Rowling's books Tuesday afternoon.

Although Amazon hasn't released a public statement regarding to what happened, reports have indicated that the U.S.-based Kindle Store showed all titles as "currently unavailable" right after the Harry Potter books went on sale. More specifically, all books sold on Amazon's Kindle Store were still listed as usual, but they didn't have pricing or purchasing options. In other words, for a short time, all consumers could do was window shop.

Even more, Kindle magazines and Kindle Singles were also unavailable to purchase including USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post -- the New York Times remained surprisingly untouched. Internationally however, everything was business as usual -- North American residents were the only consumers left out on the sidewalk for the short duration.

Eventually the Kindle Store regained most of its functionality. The latest report claims that there are still a few instaances of "currently unavailable" books showing in the Kindle Top 100 list, but most all purchasing options have been restored to normal. Ultimately Amazon's store was down for the count for about an hour, all presumably due to Harry Potter and his band of misfit wizards.

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    Pyree , March 28, 2012 2:20 AM
    A reparo spell was cast on the server to fixed the problem.
  • 11 Hide
    agnickolov , March 28, 2012 5:00 AM
    Sombeody let loose the Weasley twins...
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    Pyree , March 28, 2012 2:20 AM
    A reparo spell was cast on the server to fixed the problem.
  • 4 Hide
    wmalinowski , March 28, 2012 2:58 AM
    Lord Voldemort revenge?
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , March 28, 2012 3:10 AM
    wmalinowskiLord Voldemort revenge?


    If he wanted revenge, he wouldn't have simply knock out Amazon. He would've brought Steve Jobs back to life, under one condition for him.

    -Avoid Harry Potter books like a plague. Choke any companies that choose to sell the books at all cost.


    OR, he could've simply outright BBQ Amazon's servers.
  • 2 Hide
    richboyliang , March 28, 2012 4:34 AM
    Quote:
    a few instaances
  • 11 Hide
    agnickolov , March 28, 2012 5:00 AM
    Sombeody let loose the Weasley twins...
  • 8 Hide
    13thmonkey , March 28, 2012 7:21 AM
    so they are longer and therefore worth more? does that work as a concept on e books, there's no more paper involved, they were already written, why are they the same price as the paper copies. KEEEEERCHING!!!!
  • -1 Hide
    rocso , March 28, 2012 12:32 PM
    They are providing you with a service of convenience, this is where the extra cost comes from. and it also takes mad money to manufacture ebooks. MMAAAADDD money!!! /sarc
  • 3 Hide
    velocityg4 , March 28, 2012 1:40 PM
    I'd have thought the fans would already own the physical books.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 28, 2012 1:49 PM
    velocityg4I'd have thought the fans would already own the physical books.

    They might, but it will be like Beatles fans that have every copy of the White Album, from vinyl, 8 track, tape, minidisc to download
  • 3 Hide
    the_crippler , March 28, 2012 5:38 PM
    13thmonkeyso they are longer and therefore worth more? does that work as a concept on e books, there's no more paper involved, they were already written, why are they the same price as the paper copies. KEEEEERCHING!!!!


    It's because we've reached peak e-ink. We need to start conserving/charging more for ebooks now, or else we won't have any e-readers within 10 years. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , March 29, 2012 3:35 AM
    13thmonkeyso they are longer and therefore worth more? does that work as a concept on e books, there's no more paper involved, they were already written, why are they the same price as the paper copies. KEEEEERCHING!!!!

    You're right, I think a 10-page pamphlet should be valued at the same price as a 500 page epic, also popularity/talent of the author and demand for the title should have no bearing on market prices. /sarcasm

    I couldn't care less about Harry Potter. But I can't stand the entitlement mentality either.
  • 0 Hide
    13thmonkey , March 29, 2012 7:09 AM
    they are already written, no/zero/nada extra work has gone into making these books, no materials have been consumed, they have been free to produce they could sell 1million copies and only incur amazons costs.

    This isn't about entitlement, get to know me before you start talking like that.

    From a business model point of view, selling them for £2-3 each would a) get more fans to buy them again, b) introduce new fans (who might otherwise buy secondhand at zero benefit to the publishers) c) those new fans will then also go out and buy/watch the films etc.

    Benefit to both the publisher and the customer is positive.
  • 0 Hide
    blackened144 , March 30, 2012 1:42 PM
    Its about damn time.. When I got my ereader, I thought it would be a good time to read the final Harry Potter book since it had been out for like 6months.. I looked for like a day to find the ebook to purchase online before I found out that JK Rowling didnt want it released as an ebook because she feared it would be pirated.. Anyone want to guess how I had to get the ebook? I dont know what kind of statement she was trying to make by not releasing it as an ebook but that messaged failed miserably.
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