The Ickabog: How and where to read JK Rowling's new novel for free
Rowling will host The Ickabog on this new website with anywhere from “a chapter (or two, or three)” being published at a time, according to the author’s note.
Renowned author JK Rowling will stagger the release of her new novel for children titled 'The Ickabog' over the next seven weeks, publishing the book in tiny chapters online and making it available for free. With the world under lockdown, the move is seen as a both empathetic and strategic, considering the book sales are bound to be less in the upcoming few months.
The first two chapters of The Ickabog are available for free here:https://t.co/afFEfRQQ5C— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 26, 2020
Rowling will host The Ickabog on this new website with anywhere from “a chapter (or two, or three)” being published at a time, according to the author’s note. The first two chapters are already available, and although there’s no description of what the story entails, The Ickabog seems to have more in common with traditional fairy tales. Picture faraway kingdoms with lords and kings. According to her, the idea for Ickabog came to her while she was writing her wildly successful Harry Potter series even though she claims her new novel isn't realted to magic.
“It isn’t Harry Potter and it doesn’t include magic,” Rowling wrote. “This is an entirely different story.”
According to reports, The Ickabog seemingly came into existence in typical Rowling fashion: she came up with the idea “a long time ago and read it to my two younger children chapter by chapter each night while I was working on it.” When the time came to publish The Ickabog, Rowling decided to “put out a book for adults instead, which is how The Ickabog ended up in the attic.” During the pandemic, Rowling dug out the book from her collections and decided to release it online.
“The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power,” Rowling said on her personal website. “To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn’t intended to be read as a response to anything that’s happening in the world right now. The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country.”
Interestingly, Rowling has also asked children to contribute artwork for the story. In her announcement post, she noted that it’s an official competition being run by Scholastic -- the publisher --- and people entering could see their artwork in a printed version of the book, which is due out later this year. After The Ickabog’s initial run online and probably in time for a post-coronavirus world, Scholastic will publish it in traditional formats, including as a book, ebook, and audiobook.