Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
Some have discussed how Amazon has been disintermediating publishers with its various initiatives. What we witnessed today was the biggest disintermediation ever.
We are now seeing an author selling direct to readers without being locked out from the world’s major retail and reading platforms with Pottermore.
If you haven’t heard, the news is that Harry Potter books are now available as e-books for the first time. The even bigger news is that you can get them through Kindle or Nook directly from Pottermore. An author is getting the biggest booksellers to send traffic to her site so readers can purchase books directly from her.
How it works is that you go to the Nook or Kindle site and select a Harry Potter title. After selected, a pop-up appears, which reads:
You are on your way to enjoying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by purchasing it through the Pottermore website.
You’ll be taken to Pottermore.com and asked to sign in or create a new account. Once you do, you’ll immediately get access to this book, and other exclusive writings from J.K. Rowling.
Can you feel the tectonic plates shifting? We may experience the aftershocks for some time to come.
One more thing: One of the interesting angles on this is that the Potter e-books are being sold without digital rights management, except a watermark. (Watermarked books can still be tracked to an individual, if necessary, but without imposing the technical barriers of DRM.)
It may just be a matter of time before Adobe DRM declines and we see the ascendance of watermarking. We have witnessed it in the music industry. We can also see it in action in Denmark and Sweden, where even large publishers find the use of watermarking totally normal, even desirable.