Google has announced that it will be working with Rowling and Pottermore to bring the Harry Potter eBooks to consumers via the open Google Books platform. Once the books are purchased via Pottermore, customers will be able to store them on Google Books or transfer them to compatible devices running the Google Books app. (In case you had forgotten, Pottermore will have exclusive selling privileges to the eBooks.)
Worth $15 billion, the Harry Potter book series clearly holds considerable weight. So it's kind of a big deal that Rowling is bypassing book retailers and working with Google on getting the Harry Potter eBooks to customers.
Google will also run the preferred third party payment platform via Google Checkout.
A clear loser with the partnership? Amazon. Considering that the Kindle isn't equipped to support Google Books, Google's nabbing of the Harry Potter series is sure to move consumers away from the Kindle and towards supported devices like the iriver Story HD, Nook, and Kobo. Assuming, of course, that Amazon won't ink its own deal with Rowling at some point in the future.
Update: It looks like that deal with Amazon is on its way as well. "We’re working closely with Pottermore to make sure Kindle customers will be able to buy and read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books," said an Amazon spokesperson in an email. Might we get official word in the next few days?