The next rich colony of JK Rowling’s publishing empire will be a digital land – one that is sure to inspire other big brand authors to set sail in search of similar conquests.
Pottermore will be a socially-integrated, free-to-use digital platform for fans of Harry Potter. However, it won’t just be a website with old content and an e-bookstore. Rowling has written “extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books”.
Pottermore, it seems, will be the digital ‘home’ of Harry Potter and a wealthy one at that. Rowling worked with Sony to create the site to ultimately “incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks”.
By excluding Amazon and iTunes [and all the other major booksellers] from selling the Potter e-books, Rowling is doing something that may interest all the other big brand authors (and their publishers) like Terry Pratchett and Stephen King.
Pottermore plans to be an interactive, global retailer, specialising in exclusive Harry Potter material. Sony says: “As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore.” Ka Ching!
The site will launch in Beta on 31st July in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.
Register your interest here: Pottermore
A taste of what’s to come
In the new website, which launches in Beta on 31st July, the story lines will be brought to life with newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which users can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, users choose a magic username and begin their experience. They can move through the chapters, read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can they. They visit Dragon Alley, get sorted into a house, and cast spells and mix potions to help their house compete for the House Cup.
At a press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Rowling revealed some key features of the website. She 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 combinations. She also revealed glimpses of the new information she has provided on some of the best-loved characters.
The video announcement by Rowling: http://bit.ly/kvyKmO