Certainly, every author is not J.K. Rowling. Few, if any, could match her bold move to bypass the Amazon website or the iTunes Store and sell e-books directly to fans. Even if the electronic rights were retained, almost no other author has the clout to instantly conjure up her own distribution network, such that it would be more profitable to do so rather than split the bucks with the digital bookstores. So, it may not set a precedent for other authors.
But it may have an equally profound effect on accelerating the change in reading habits. Rowling does not need Amazon’s cooperation to sell books that can be read on the Kindle, but it would be a lot easier for readers with Amazon’s cooperation. It will be interesting to see whether Amazon finds a way to cooperate with Rowling, even without the lure of making money off sales of the Harry Potter e-books. It is not clear that Amazon makes margin on the Kindle itself, and the point of the Kindle is to sell and profit from the sale of e-books, by placing the Kindle in front of as many reading eyes as possible. The Harry Potter series, some of the all time bestsellers for Amazon, may be an unprecedented opportunity to get the Kindle (and other e-readers) in front of children and young teens, creating e-reading habits for life.