Home > Books, iPad > Harry Potter and the Veil of Mystery: Now in epub Format for the iPad

Harry Potter and the Veil of Mystery: Now in epub Format for the iPad

May 30th, 2010

Vom Dlb

As you may or may not know, my brother has written several Harry Potter fan-fiction novels under the pen name “Semprini” (Monty Python in-joke), which are widely considered amongst the best published on the web. The first three novels pick up after the end of Rowlings’ The Order of the Phoenix, and go off on an alternate timeline for the sixth and seventh years (with an additional novel set five years later). Although they have a different tone than Rowling’s books, they are a close match in terms of the inventiveness and “look and feel” of the originals, so much so that I have sometimes become mixed up about what characters and events are from Rowlings’ books and which are from the alternate novels.

Personally, I like my brother’s versions a good deal better than the real deals–they seem much more reasonable in terms of how people act and how events turn out, and are much more satisfying in general. Even better, they recognize and discuss a variety of moral, ethical, and spiritual issues in a manner that is entertaining, making the stories more interesting for adults and more valuable for younger audiences. The greatest flaw with the book was the tendency to draw out some discussions about personal feelings and such, but this is a subsequent edit, in which the author did much to improve the read.

This first novel is titled The Veil of Mystery, and was finished in late 2004. I first published text and pdf versions on this blog in mid-2005, and since then, there have been about 10,000 downloads of the novel from this site. Keeping in mind that that this is not the primary source of publication–that would be fan fiction sites–that number is quite appreciable.

Even more impressive is the fact that the versions published so far are not the easiest to read–one must either print out a large stack of text, or read the book in a less-than-optimal form on a computer. Now that the iPad has come along, it seems the perfect chance to publish the novel in a form which is both attractive and easy to read.

Vom Page

I spent the last week or so learning how epubs are put together; on the Mac, at least, Sigil seems to be the best for creating an ebook from scratch. I was able to create an epub version with a cover image, table of contents, and nice formatting (using xhtml, so not so much of a stretch for me). This allowed for nice font selections, making the text look more like a professional publication. The primary font is Baskerville; Zapfino and Cochin are used for chapter headings; representations of hand-written notes use Snell Roundhand (for adults) and Marker Felt (for children); newspaper articles are in Futura and Optima. iBooks does the rest in making the ebook look very nice indeed. The fonts were selected because they were the best available among the iPad’s offerings; if you use another ebook reading device, the appearance may suffer if the fonts aren’t there–but try it anyway, and let me know how it works.

Vom Ibooks

To read the novel using iBooks on the iPad, just download the ebook (click on the cover art below or the download button at top), decompress the archive (zipped so as to preserve the book title), and add it to iTunes (drag and drop it into your “Books” section of the Library, or in the Library itself if there is no “Books” section yet). When you connect your iPad, iTunes should upload the book automatically; if not, you can select it under the “Books” tab of your iPad’s content area, then Apply/Sync. The book will appear on your bookshelf, as pictured above.

This is just the first novel of the series; over the next few months, I hope to similarly translate the other four novels into epub format as well. Bookmark this page and/or keep an eye on this blog for additional downloads.

If you have not read this book before, then to get the proper context, read or watch Rowling’s The Order of the Phoenix (book / DVD / BluRay) first. This novel picks up where that one leaves off.


Vom Cover

click image to download

Categories: Books, iPad Tags: by
  1. Troy
    May 31st, 2010 at 11:11 | #1

    I wonder if iBook’s fake book UX is bogus.

    When I’m reading on my Macbook I just prefer the two-finger scroll down to view content.

  2. Luis
    June 1st, 2010 at 10:10 | #2

    Troy: I like the fake book UX. Scrolling is just not the paradigm I recognize, at least not yet. Or maybe it’s generational–we’re of the generation that read books, and so turning pages is what we associate with reading. Maybe the younger crowd, or those who have spent much of the last ten years reading primarily from the web, would see scrolling as more natural.

    For me, scrolling is less efficient and more difficult. I have to be sure that I scroll the right amount, I rarely if ever am able to get a whole screen’s worth of text refresh, and I have to spend a moment making sure that I haven’t lost my place after each scroll movement. Alternately, I could hit the spacebar or click on space in the scroll just beneath the scroll tab to jump down a screen length minus a line or two–but isn’t that just like turning a page anyway?

    Turning a page is efficient: you get a full screen refresh of text, and you know exactly where to pick up reading. On the iPad, it’s also easy–tap along the right edge or swipe right-to-left anywhere on the screen. With the page-turning effect, it’s also fun–after a month, I am still playing with that.

  3. Brian
    August 31st, 2010 at 14:48 | #3

    This is Fantastic! I was just looking at the update to Pages in the iWork suite, and now you can export your documents to EPUB. This makes it very easy to make your own iBooks! Perhaps this can speed up your process!

    Please put my vote in for having all of these books in the EPUB format!!! Love to read it on my iPad!


  4. Asa
    September 7th, 2011 at 00:39 | #4

    The plain text download option seems to not be working, and is this epub format good for the ipod touch as well? that’s where I do most of my reading, and the PDF won’t work very well on such a small screen. Any advice on the matter?

  5. HK
    April 29th, 2013 at 03:19 | #5

    Is there any chance you could output these to PDF also? I do not have/want an epub reader and prefer to read in PDF.

  6. Luis
    April 29th, 2013 at 12:46 | #6

    All three books are available as PDFs on this page:


  7. HK
    April 30th, 2013 at 09:14 | #7


    Those are the older versions not updated with semprini’s revised scenes put into the epub.

  8. Luis
    April 30th, 2013 at 10:27 | #8

    Sorry, but that’s all that I have right now. For me to convert the updated epub into a PDF would be no easier for me than it would be for you.

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