London: Harry Potter fans will have to wait a bit longer to buy the magic tales in electronic form. The creators of the online Potter portal said on Friday that the launch of an e-book store has been pushed back to next year.
The seven Harry Potter books had been due to go on sale in October, exclusively through the 'Pottermore' website.
The site is a combination of virtual encyclopedia, role-playing game and online community for fans of author JK Rowling's boy wizard.
It launched in July and is so far accessible to 1 million registered users chosen through an online competition.
In a blog posting on the site, 'Pottermore' management said registration would be open to everyone from the end of October, and the online store would open in 'the first half of 2012'.
The posting said use of the site so far had been 'phenomenal', and the delay would "allow us to focus on our first priority: opening 'Pottermore' to as many people as possible and making the experience as good as it can be."
The Harry Potter novels have sold 450 million copies - and made Rowling one of the world's richest women, with a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine at $ 1 billion - but have never been available as e-books.
Rowling annoyed some booksellers with her decision to circumvent established retailers and sell the e-books and digital audio books through her own site.
The creators of 'Pottermore' say the books will be compatible with popular e-readers, including Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Reader and Apple's iPad.