I own all of the audiobooks twice over, and several of the printed books, but the eBooks represent something new: the chance to read the British version of the novels. Alas, due to insanely complicated—and stupid—international publication rights and restrictions, and my credit card’s USA billing address, the Pottermore.com store did not want to allow me to buy the UK version of the books.
Here’s how I bought them anyway. (You can do the same for the audiobooks, too.)
The basic trick is that I bought a gift for a “friend” who lives in the UK. Buying a gift allows (or in theory requires) you to purchase the edition appropriate for the gift recipient, rather than restricting you to the edition you are allowed to buy. And since your “friend” is redeeming a gift credit, they don’t need to enter a billing address that gets verified (or not) by a credit card transaction.
The only “tricky” part is that you need to have two email addresses, one for you (the buyer) and one for your “friend” (the gift recipient). Many people have a home and a work email, but as long as you have one, it’s not hard to get a second on one of the different webmail services (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.).
The full walk-through of the process is pretty damn tedious, you have to create Pottermore.com accounts for both you and your “friend”, but in the end I turned my $62 American dollars into all seven British edition eBooks, and they work great on my iPad (and well enough on my iPhone). I’m very much looking forward to re-reading the books again, with the Philosopher’s Stone and “colours” and “chips” (fries) and “biscuits” (cookies) and “snogging” (PDA) and all the rest of the wonderful English language in which the books were originally written.
If you’ve wanted to listen to the magnificent Stephen Fry narrated versions of the books, but balked at the £240 price plus international shipping charges from Amazon.com UK, this is your opportunity to save quite a bit of money. To say nothing of instant gratification!