JK Rowling has defended the sale of a £6 series of Harry Potter spin-off ebooks, after readers complained that the material in the books was available for free online.
Several fans have complained that the Pottermore Presents series of three books, released yesterday for £1.99 each, are made up of content from the Pottermore website, which is available for free.
Pottermore promised before their release that the books would contain “original writing from JK Rowling” and the books bear the author’s name on the cover.
Out of the 10,000 words in each of the books, only a few hundred words are original material written by Rowling.
Rowling has defended the fee Pottermore is charging for the novelettes, and said that readers had requested the online writing was available in book format.
The texts contain information on characters known to wizarding fans, such as the Ministers for Magic – the series’ version of Members of Parliament – and Professor McGonagall.
After reading the books, fans took to Twitter to complain about the lack of original material.
Mel CC wrote: “Why would you all make info already available for free on pottermore into ebooks? Is Cursed Child [the latest Potter book] not making enough money?”
Fan Sarah Spivet said: “Is it me, or is there not that much new info in the Harry Potter shorts that isn’t already on Pottermore for free?
A Twitter user called Jessica wrote: “Bought all the Pottermore eBooks and it’s just the old material from the website. Disappointed JK”
A user known mononymously as Roy said: “Apparently the Pottermore short ebooks are out now. I’ll just wait for some free downloads. Not gonna pay for 90% old material from the site.”
Ana de Carvalho added: “Some people think they know the Harry Potter characters more than the creator of them.”
Pottermore is an online website founded by JK Rowling which offers news, features and articles about the Harry Potter series written by Rowling and Potter fans.
JK Rowling replied to the complaints by writing: “We had many, many requests to make the extra writing available in this format.”
Some Twitter users replied saying that they agreed with Rowling and had enjoyed reading the books.
Amanda T wrote: thank you JK Rowling. You spoil us. And in light of recent tweets, you continue to shine!
Pottermore’s director of product creative and content Anne Rafferty said before their release that the books would be made up of content produced by Rowling, and by Pottermore editors.
She wrote on the Pottermore website: “We read through everything in our archives, took pieces written by Rowling and the Pottermore editorial team, and sewed it all together.”
The new books are: Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, Short Stories from Hogwarts Of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, and Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship And Dangerous Hobbies.