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'Harry Potter' to appear on Google Books this fall

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(Read caption) The 'Harry Potter' series will finally be available in e-book form and readable on Google Books by the fall.

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"Harry Potter" fans can now read their favorite series on the decidedly muggle platform of Google Books.

Google announced Wednesday that it will team up with JK Rowling’s website Pottermore this fall, making "Harry Potter" books available on Google eBooks platform at Pottermore.com.

Fans will be able to keep their "Potter" e-books in their Google Books collection, allowing them to read the series on any device with an Internet connection as well as on more than 80 different e-readers.

“When you buy a 'Harry Potter' ebook from Pottermore, you will be able to choose to keep it in your Google Books library in-the-cloud, as well as on other e-reading platforms,” Larissa Fontaine of Google Books said Wednesday in a blog post.

The Pottermore team also plans to use YouTube for video broadcasts in the future, and will use Google Checkout as the preferred payment platform for all purchases made on Pottermore.com, according to the blog.

Pottermore will sell e-book and audiobook versions of the seven 'Harry Potter' novels, as well as additional content about the series.

The "Harry Potter" e-books will undoubtedly be very lucrative for Google Books (the final film has already raked in a staggering $436 million worldwide since its Friday release), and the decision deals a blow to Amazon, whose Kindle e-reader does not support Google Books.

Rowling unveiled Pottermore, an interactive website featuring new material about the "Harry Potter" world, in June. The free website will go live on July 31 for 1 million "Potter" fans who pass a special online challenge and to the general public in October. It will be the first time her novels will be sold as e-books, available through a partnership with Sony.

Pottermore will also have previously unpublished material that Rowling has written on the characters’ backgrounds and their lives at Hogwarts.

Rowling may yet have more tricks up her sleeve, according to the Google Books blog. “Stay tuned for more Pottermore and Google wizardry on the web this summer, leading up to when Pottermore opens,” writes Ms. Fontaine.

Update: Amazon claims to be working with Pottermore to make the "Harry Potter" e-books accessible for Kindle-users.

Husna Haq is a Monitor contributor.

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