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Harry Potter eBooks finally arrive, compatible with Google Play

How is it the old saying goes -- the best things come to those who wait? The wait for the Harry Potter eBook series to go on sale has certainly been long. Originally we were expecting them back in October. But, for whatever reason that date slipped, and slipped, and now finally today is the day. The eBook store over on the Pottermore site has finally gone live, for Muggles across the world to get their electronic fix. 

As previously reported, the books are available to read in your Google Play Books application, right on your Android device. In fact, you can also purchase and read them in your Kindle application, right on your Android device. The only drawback remains, that you can only actually purchase anything from the Pottermore website. So how do you retrieve your fix of Hogwarts from there? Stick around, we've got you covered. 

First though, to pricing. There has been a mixed reception to the prices of these books across the interwebs today. Some believe that the prices are too high, especially given the number of people who already own the paper copies worldwide of the series which began 15 years ago. Look at it another way though -- how long did it take the mighty iTunes to snag The Beatles' back catalog? Did people still buy it when it did appear despite the music originating from the sixties? 

Pricing isn't actually as steep as some would make it appear. The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, cost me £4.99 (about $8.) Cheaper still than buying the paper copy in most book stores, and not extortionately over-priced when compared to some of the better selling books in the Google Play Store. Lots of us don't own the paper copies -- we have them in our house, but would I really want to carry around a 3-inch thick book in some cases? 

Pricing out of the way, let's take a look at the buying process. The first thing you're going to need to do is create a Pottermore account. Simple enough, enter details, payment details, password etc and you're away. Buying is easy, just like buying just about anything else online. 

When you've bought your first book, you're taken to what can only be described as your library. All your purchases, right there for you to download. The good news is that each book can be download 8 times, so if you have a lot of different devices you use regularly, you're pretty well covered. 

From the download screen, you choose how you want to download. There are options for a range of e-Readers, including Kindle, and Google Play. Google Play is as good an option as any, especially if you only intend to use Android devices.

The facility is there to link your Google account to your Pottermore account. By doing this, your purchases will automatically appear on any of your devices running the Google Play Books app. Thats it. It's really that simple. Granted, it would be even more simple just to be able to buy it from the Google Play Store, or the Kindle Store, or the Nook Store -- you get the idea. But, this is what we've got, so we're stuck with it. The good news is that once you've bought your Harry Potter books from Pottermore, you don't have to worry about any undue steps to get them onto your Android device. Now, if you'll excuse me, the Quidditch is on. 

Source: Pottermore

  • Good to see 'The Philosopher's stone' on that picture and not the stupid 'Sorcerer's stone' that the US got!
  • lol. I agree. Too bad I can't buy that one from the US though -.- I had my hardcover copies imported from England years ago. <3 them
  • The "Sorcerer's Stone" was the name that the book was supposed to have. It was changed to "The Philosopher's stone" because the UK is so politically correct that they weren't allowed it to publish it with "Sorcerer" in the title. It was deemed to "endorse" witchcraft. "Philosopher's" stone? How stupid. I didn't realize an Alchemist was a philosopher. Hey, Voldemort must have been a philosopher too, ey?
  • Actually, you've got it backwards. Started as The Philosophers Stone, but the US publisher didn't think kids would relate to a book with the title containing "philosopher" so they changed. In retrospect, Rowling regretted this change.
  • The philosopher's stone is a term that dates back to the dark ages or earlier, and refers to the object Rowling described in her book. The Sorcerer's Stone is something Scholastic made up to sell books in America, and you've just demonstrated why.
  • I've had these on my Kindle for over a year now, why is this news anywhere? haha
  • Did you pay for them? lol
  • I wonder if the 8-download restriction only applies to directly downloading it from Pottermore, or does connecting your Google Play or Amazon account count as one? Or do they have some crazy thing set up to only let you get it from Google Play / Amazon 8 times?
  • Their FAQ linked to an amazon page that was helpful: It looks like linking to Amazon / Google Play will count as one of your "downloads," but after that Amazon will let you download it to a kindle as many times as you want. "A single link to your Amazon account will add the books to your Kindle library where they can be downloaded to all Kindle or free Kindle reading applications registered to your account, without further reducing the number of downloads available from Pottermore." The link to the Google Play help did not offer any Pottermore-specific help, so still unknown there.
  • This is stupid the way they have this set up. Way to complicated, I just went into Google Play Books and got "Twilight Breaking Dawn" so easy. Why do I have to go through all of this. And then they want to keep count. Lame. . . .
  • I couldn't disagree more. The way they have set it up is the best thing about it. This way your eBooks are not locked into one ecosystem; which means if you started reading them via the Play Books app on your phone but then bought a kindle, you wouldn't have to purchase them again to read them on that.
  • Google Play, Kindle, Nook...that means U.S. only? T^T
    *Back to the paper copies*
  • Google Play isn't just US neither is Kindle
  • US and UK. Just go to the Pottermore Shop You can get all 7 books in one package for $57.54 USD for Google Play, Nook, Kindle, and many other ereaders, smartphones, tablets, etc. Just check the compatable devices area.