Staff at TheOneRing finally got our hands on the much anticipated printed book tie-ins with the first of the Peter Jackson film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Images and a review of those books are coming but today we received word about the iBook version which sound kinda awesome. Expect more from us on the printed versions but here is the press release about the electronic ones:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Brings The Hobbit to Life Using Apple’s Cutting-Edge eBook Technology
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the release of a range of cutting-edge interactive ebooks to tie in with the forthcoming release of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, using the unique iBooks® Author tool from Apple®.

Readers can find out all they need to know about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with the official film tie-in books: The World of Hobbits; The Movie Storybook; The Activity Book; The Official Movie Guide and the Visual Companion. These multi-touch editions are among the first iBooks® Author ebooks to include embedded custom fonts, scrolling sidebars, pop-over widgets and retina-display enhancements, creating a unique and truly immersive ebook experience. Features include:

  • Interactive maps allowing users to explore Hobbiton, Rivendell and beyond
  • Touch-responsive puzzles and activities
  • High resolution pinch-to-zoom images and scrollable galleries
  • A height chart feature, showing how Bilbo matches up to the goblins

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Vice President Ken Carpenter said: “We are excited to share the amazing photos and text from these books in a new format that allows readers to interact with the content and further explore the world of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

Cheryl Toto, HMH’s Senior Vice President of Strategy & Planning, added, “These titles highlight the best of what we as publishers are able to do today, given the new platforms we have to work with. We constantly strive to bring our authors’ works to life digitally in the best possible way, adding new features as a means to enhance the experience in a thoughtful, fun and meaningful way that will engage a whole new generation of readers.”

The ebooks are available now. Alongside the Apple® editions, parallel products will also be available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google and Kobo.


  1. Fantastic.

  2. My iPad is begging me to buy these.

  3. phantom walrus

    Just bought the Official Movie Guide iBook. Decent, but… all the images are 256 color. Like… gifs. Quality’s ok, but the palette’s really limited and you can see a lot of color banding. Also they don’t zoom particularly far. You can enlarge most images slightly, but as soon as you take your fingers off they snap back. They’re not really “high resolution” at all, as such. I mean, “zooming” just sort of gives you a briefly slightly larger, blurrier version of whatever image you were looking at.

    The physical book is probably more enjoyable.

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