- Title: J.K. Rowling's Pottermore plans to conjure up profit for 2017
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JUNE 23, 2011) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** HARRY POTTER AUTHOR J.K. ROWLING WALKING TO PHOTO CALL AND MEETING YOUNG KIDS WHO ARE PLAYING WITH THE POTTERMORE WEBSITE VARIOUS OF ROWLING WATCHING CHILDREN PLAY WITH NEW POTTERMORE WEBSITE PHOTOGRAPHERS/ROWLING POSING WITH YOUNG HARRY POTTER FANS MORE OF ROWLING POSING WITH HARRY POTTER FANS VARIOUS OF ROWLING AND JOURNALISTS AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) J.K. ROWLING, HARRY POTTER AUTHOR, SAYING: "This site is just a fantastic way for all that fan creativity to continue and of course it's been an amazing experience for me to be able to be creative in this medium that didn't exist back in 1990 when I first had the idea for the books." POTTERMORE SIGN LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JULY 7, 2011) (REUTERS) FANS SCREAMING AT PREMIERE OF 'HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2" IN LONDON VARIOUS OF DANIEL RADCLIFFE, ACTOR WHO PLAYS HARRY POTTER, ON RED CARPET (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT): ACTORS RUPERT GRINT, EMMA WATSON AND DANIEL RADCLIFFE ON RED CARPET
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 12:20
- Keywords: JK Rowling J.K. Rowling Pottermore Harry Potter digital books ebooks digital publishing
- Location: INTERNET / NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: INTERNET / NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Books,Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA00659J0K25
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Launched as a fan community site in 2012, Pottermore has evolved from a self-publishing site for one of the world's most popular authors into a firm that sells increasing volumes of ebooks and audio books via partnerships with online retailers and expects to turn a profit in its current fiscal year the company said on Tuesday (November 22).
Recognizing the pitfalls of a purely go-it-alone, direct-to-fans approach, Pottermore revamped its strategy in 2015 to also sell through Amazon.com, Apple, Amazon's audio book unit Audible, Barnes & Noble, Google and Rakuten-owned ebook publisher Kobo.
"If ebooks can work for anyone, they are going to work for Harry Potter", said Joseph Evans, a technology analyst for media market research firm Enders Analysis. But he noted how a push by News Corp-owned publisher HarperCollins to create ebook destination sites for other top authors has failed to take off.
For the fiscal year ended in March 2016, Pottermore's revenue more than doubled year on year to 15.1 million pounds ($19 million). It narrowed its pretax loss to 4.9 million pounds from 6.0 million in fiscal 2015.
The company has been investing in revamping the site, publishing new digital editions of the original seven Harry Potter titles and ebook shorts by Rowling that delve into the stories, characters and settings imagined in the Potter realm.
"The new strategic plan is not only driving increased revenue but is also putting us on the path to profitability for our financial year ending in March 2017," Pottermore Chief Executive Susan Jurevics said.
Pottermore is dwarfed by the broader Potter franchise of books, video games, films and related products, which is estimated to have generated as much as $15 billion in sales over nearly two decades.
Last week, Pottermore.com published Rowling's screenplay for the feature film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", the weekend's top box office draw, which took in $75 million for film studio Warner Bros. Pictures in its first three days.
Fantastic Beasts depicts a struggle between North American wizards and non-magical humans in New York in 1926, 70 years before the adventures of Harry Potter, and is the first in a planned five-part film series set to be released into the next decade.
"There is huge interest in the Wizarding world," Jurevics said in an interview. "This is a phenomenally evergreen publishing property with a long future roadmap."
The original Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.
In addition to her royalties from books and films, Rowling has retained ebook and audio book publishing rights to the Harry Potter books, which she sells through Pottermore.com.
Beyond the ecommerce offerings, much of the interactive content on the Pottermore site remains free to users, including new works and previously unpublished writing by Rowling, not to mention spells to charm and stupefy your friends.
Pottermore said results for the current 2017 fiscal year will also be boosted by the publication in July of an ebook version of the two-part play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child".
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