Harry Potter gets animated with Kindle in Motion edition

The latest addition to Amazon’s Kindle in Motion range of ebooks is Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (sometimes known as HP and The Sorcerer’s Stone in the US) by JK Rowling.

The animated features come at a price as this special edition of the first book in the Potter series costs about $9 (£6.99 in the UK) and is not available through Kindle Unlimited. The original, non-animated, Kindle edition, is priced at $7.90 (£5.99 in the UK) but can be borrowed for free through the Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription scheme.

Kindle in Motion ebooks include art, animation, or video features that can be viewed on some Fire tablets and the free Kindle app for iOS and Android. The KIM  features can be switched on or off at any time.

The new Potter book builds short animations on the illustrations of Jim Kay. For instance, the cover of the book is a four-second video (MP4) of steam billowing from a train at the platform while an owl flaps its wings.

Amazon launched Kindle In Motion about a year ago but the Potter book is easily the most lavish production so far and is the only KIM book that is not available through Kindle Unlimited.

Most of the other KIM books are either public domain books such as The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne or titles by Amazon Publishing authors such as William Lashner (A Filthy Business) and Barry Eisler (Graveyard of Memories).

However, self-published best-selling romance author Rachel Van Dyken has had two of her books produced as Kindle in Motion —The Matchmaker’s Playbook and The Matchmaker’s Replacement.

The Kindle In Motion features are on an invitation basis with Amazon picking and choosing the titles they want as they’re doing the productions and it’s a fairly expensive business.

I thought initially that I would hate the animations as getting in the way of the text but I’ve found the whole thing compelling and actually adding to the books. With many indie authors already producing material video trailers for their books it will be interesting to see if Amazon will at some point widen out the KIM scheme to include self-published productions without too much overhead in terms of file size.