No Harry Potter e-books until 2012, say Pottermore staff

Too much traffic to the Pottermore site means Harry Potter fans will have to wait for the series e-books.

Hold on to your paperbacks – the October release of the digital version of the "Harry Potter" e-books has been delayed until the first half of 2012.

Harry Potter fans eager for the digital versions of their beloved books will have to wait until 2012, according to an announcement from the new Pottermore website.

The e-books were originally due to be released in October, but, according to the official Pottermore Insider blog, the delay comes because traffic to the Pottermore website – where the books will eventually go on sale – has been overwhelming. The necessity of working on the website and making it capable to handling the high volume of Pottermore traffic means that the release of the e-books will be delayed until the first half of 2012. The e-books will be sold in the Pottermore shop.

Delaying the e-books was necessary “in order to allow us to focus on our first priority: opening Pottermore to as many people as possible and making the experience as good as it can be,” the statement on the website reads.

Demand on the website has been higher than even the Pottermore staff had anticipated.

“[Users have] been incredibly active, interacting with the site far more intensely and frequently than we thought they would,” the statement posted on the Insider blog read.

One million users are currently registered to Pottermore. The beta period of the website has now been extended to gain more information about what features users enjoy the most and how to best handle the large volume of users on the site. Access to the website will be available to everyone beginning in October, but the time to process new users and let them onto Pottermore could take weeks or months, the blog said.

The site has already had 550 million page views, according to the website.

At the same time, the website's popular Dueling game has been shut down to allow work to be done. The statement on Pottermore Insider didn’t mention a date for its reopening, but said officials promised to let users know as soon as it’s available again.

Charlotte Williams, a reporter for British magazine The Bookseller, told British newspaper The Guardian that J.K. Rowling's publishing company Bloomsbury might lose a little revenue from the e-books not being available for Christmas, but that there probably wouldn't be too much of a monetary effect on sales because of the delay.

"Potter fans are so loyal, and it seems they have engaged with Pottermore even more than Rowling and co were anticipating, so I don't think there will be major financial implications to delaying the launch of the ebook store," she said.

Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.

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