Google Books and Kindle to get 'Harry Potter' series

The popular series of novels about the young wizard Harry Potter will be available in October as e-books to both Google Books and Kindle fans.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon
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Amazon Kindle readers will not be left out of the "Harry Potter" series when it begins arriving in digital format for e-readers later this year.

Pottermore will be the exclusive distributor of 'Harry Potter' for digital e-readers. CNET/Jeff Bakalar

Amazon officials told TechCrunch that it is working with Pottermore, the Web site set up to distribute the digital version of the books for e-readers.

Yesterday, Google announced it that it would be getting the "Harry Potter" e-books for its Google Books platform. Google said it is also working with Pottermore.

Some reports speculated based on the Google announcement that Amazon's Kindle might be left in the cold with no access to Harry and his bevy of buddies from Hogwarts. But that is not the case.

Rowling has been clear from the start that she wants the books to be available on a wide range of e-reader platforms. But the digital versions of the books will be sold exclusively through Pottermore, which is set to debut in October. This means that consumers will have to purchase the book through the Pottermore site and then select the e-reader format they'd like to use.

Google said in its announcement that it's also been selected as a "preferred third party payment platform for purchases made on Pottermore.com." This means that shoppers will be able to pay using Google Checkout or a credit card.

Pottermore will not only offer the digital versions of the popular books, but it's also a place where fans can interact with one another as well as participate in virtual events from the books. Fans will be able to visit virtual versions of Diagon Alley. And they'll be able to mix potions, cast spells, and do all kinds of other activities to help their houses win the House Cup at Hogwarts, the fictional boarding school that Harry Potter attended in the series.

Amazon, which has said it now sells more e-books than printed books, is expected to introduce two new e-readers and a tablet PC in the fall.