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Digital books: Next incarnation of Harry Potter?

Digital books are under consideration by Potter author Rowling. Current digital book versions of Harry Potter are pirated copies.

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Cast member Domhnall Gleeson arrives at an event celebrating the launch of the 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1' movie in DVD and digital formats, and the opening of an exhibition on the movie, in New York City April 4, 2011. J.K. Rowling, author of the popular book series, is considering releasing them as digital books.

Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

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J.K. Rowling stirred a publishing phenomenon with her "Harry Potter" books. Can she do it again on the e-book market?

The best-selling author is considering making the fantasy books available electronically, her London-based agent said Monday — meaning that Potter fans may soon be able to download the popular series about a boy wizard to their Kindle or iPad.

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"We are currently actively looking at all the various options for Harry Potter in this space, that is e-books," Neil Blair, of the Christopher Little Literary Agency, said in an e-mail.

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Rowling has sold about 450 million copies of the Harry Potter books worldwide, according to Blair. She has allowed digital audio downloads, but is one of the most famous authors who have stayed away from the e-book market, frustrating parts of her fan-base that have converted to the new format.

Some say the Potter books — which are up to 800 pages thick — are heavy and unwieldy, and publishing them in the electronic format will make them easier to carry around.

Some reports say Rowling is holding out because she is concerned about piracy issues. Harry Potter books are now available for download digitally from illegal websites.

Blair said Rowling has never spoken out against e-books — instead she been watching the developing market and waiting for the right moment to release her books in that format.