OverDrive Halts Advance Sales of ‘Harry Potter’ Library eBooks

It looks like someone might be concerned about all the attention that OverDrive has been getting ever since they announced the imminent arrival of HP eBooks last month. The eBooks aren’t due to hit libraries until the end of April, but some libraries are already taking requests for waiting lists as well as pre-ordering their copies.

Here’s the message that OverDrive posted on their website:

We’re excited about the forthcoming launch of Harry Potter eBooks and digital audiobooks for library lending. We’re working with Pottermore to introduce this compelling series, and as part of the process of coordinating launch plans with Pottermore, we have temporarily suspended pre-sales and display of these titles at library websites. This is only a postponement, and libraries will soon be able to resume pre-ordering the titles in preparation for launch in April.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. We’ll keep you posted as the process unfolds.

This is a curious turn of events, but I suspect it is due to a technical issue. I bet OD’s servers were beginning to get bogged down by the requests for info about the eBooks.

Harry Potter is incredibly popular, even years after the last book was published. In fact, Pottermore managed to hit a million users in under a week back when it launched into beta in the summer of 2011.

It seems likely that OverDrive is simply pulling the eBooks now so they have time to make sure their servers can handle the load on the day that they are finally available to checkout.