The author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has joined the 21st century with the announcement of new interactive online website Pottermore. The website will be exclusive seller of ebooks of her iconic Harry Potter series from October onwards, Rowling said Thursday.
The storyline for the first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone will go live on Pottermore in October with interactive experience for the reader. The storyline of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live on the site in early 2012.
Apart from being a retail outlet, Pottermore will lets Harry Potter fans explore Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, accompanied with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The Muggle fans could just apply for and get an owl from the School.
Despite having wizard ability, the users will get invited to attend wizarding school to learn the magical skills necessary to succeed in the wizarding world. Added to that, users could shop for wands, owls, toad, wizard books, and access the Gringotts Wizarding Bank in Diagon Alley.
Then users have to catch the Hogwarts Express from the imaginary Platform 9 3/4 at London's King's Cross station and be sorted into Hogwarts school houses by the perceptive Sorting Hat.
In an announcement which will thrill fans, Rowling described how she has brought to life both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat -- which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics -- and the magic behind the Wand Chooser -- which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000 possible combination.
Going beyond ebook store for the seven novels, Pottermore is also an online experience for which Rowling has written extensive new material (more than 18,000 new words so far) about characters, places and objects in the series. That means, even if the users don't buy the ebooks, the fans can still enjoy the additional content.
Starting June 23, readers can register for the online challenge and the selected ones will gain early access to the site open in beta on July 31, Harry Potter's birthday.
For the rest, Pottermore will be made available in October, while one million fans will be offered the chance to shape the development of the website throughout the summer.
The million fans will be required to find a Magical Quill in an online treasure hunt. The fans will be able give their comments and criticisms of the site in order to shape the final look and feel of the website before it opens to everyone on October 1.
The Pottermore management team comprises Chief Executive Officer Rod Henwood and Chief Operating Officer Tom Turcan, and the project has been overseen by Neil Blair, J.K. Rowling’s agent. UK digital agency TH_NK have designed and built the website, and agency Adam&Eve have carried out the marketing.
Each of the seven Harry Potter books has broken sales records, with the series to date having sold approximately 450 million copies worldwide, distributed in over 200 territories and translated into 70 languages, as well as being turned into blockbuster films.