Open Letter to JK Rowling

This letter, by Chris Meadows, originally appeared on Teleread on 1/23/10.

This letter is also being sent by snailmail to J.K. Rowling’s agents, the Christopher Little Literary Agency.

Dear Ms. Rowling:

For several years, you have adamantly refused to make e-book editions of your Harry Potter series available, citing concerns over promoting piracy. In May, The Bookseller reported that you were considering releasing the Harry Potter novels in e-book form. However, it is now October, and we have heard no further word as to when or if these e-books will be coming out.

I am writing to ask that you release these official e-books, as soon as you possibly can.

To begin with, your prior reluctance to license Harry Potter e-books has not resulted in any reduction in piracy of these books. Indeed, each time a new book in the series was published, a fully scanned e-book edition of it was on BitTorrent within hours.

Indeed, at the moment, if I enter “‘Harry Potter’ e-book torrent” into Google, it returns 690,000 results, in a variety of e-book reader formats. I have little doubt that by now that if I were to download one of these at random, I would find it had been proofed and polished sufficiently to compare favorably to professional quality. One of these in particular claims to be “reference quality”, with “exact layout and page sizes” and “every word on every line”.


Try as you might, you will never eradicate these illegitimate e-books from the Internet. What you should be thinking about doing is supplementing them with authorized versions that would earn you some money, and divert at least some of these e-books’ popularity to legitimate ends.

Read the rest of the letter on Teleread, and also see New Harry Potter piracy reported: Time for J.K. to allow legal Potter e-books, an earlier article on the same site.

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