JK Rowling has just revealed on Pottermore’s website what the thing is all about.
She said: “I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years. Pottermore is a way for the creativity to live on and a way for me to be creative on a platform that did not exist when I started writing the books.”
It is a free website that builds an online experience based on reading the Harry Potter books. People can register for the challenge starting today and one million users will be selected by July 31st (which happens to be both JK Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthday), after they successfully complete the challenge, for early testing of the website, with full public availability in October.
Registration is currently down on the Pottermore website, which you can access here, probably due to an overload of Potterheads trying to get their emails through.
The announcement came via JK Rowling’s youtube page, through a video, in which she said:
Thirteen years after the first Harry Potter book was published, I’m still astonished and delighted by the response the stories met. Even though the seventh book and the eighth movie have now been completed, I’m still receiving hundreds of letters every week and Harry’s fans remain as enthusiastic and inventive as ever. So I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you, because no author could have asked for a more wonderful, diverse and loyal readership.
I’m thrilled to say that I’m now in a position to give you something unique. An online reading experience unlike any other: it’s called Pottermore. It’s the same story, with a few crucial additions. The most important one is you.
Just as the experience of reading requires that the imaginations of the author and reader work together to create the story, so Pottermore will be built, in part, by you, the reader. The digital generation will be able to enjoy a safe, unique, online reading experience built around the Harry Potter books. Pottermore will be the place where fans of any age can share, participate in and rediscover the stories. It will also be the exclusive place to purchase digital audiobooks and, for the first time, e-books of the Harry Potter stories.
I will be joining in too because I will be sharing additional information I’ve been hoarding for years about the world of Harry Potter. Pottermore is open to everyone from October but a lucky few can enter early and help shape the experience. Simply follow the owl. Good luck.
The project will allow readers to answer their own questions, get sorted in Hogwarts houses, play games, add comments, drawings, etc…
The project has also been carefully planned to be spoiler-free. For the time-being, the world of Pottermore will be restricted to the first book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the US version), with the story unveiled over a two-year course, for new readers. It will enable them to live each impact moment of the books.
The new material by JK Rowling is said to be around 18000 words so far. The e-books will be DRM free, meaning they can be viewed across platforms without the need to purchase them again, but they will be watermarked with the buyer’s info. While this doesn’t prevent copyright theft, the file can be retraced to the original buyer.
“This was about the give-back,” she said. “The technology now existed to do something outside the books and the films for existing fans.”
And the attempt to register starts… now!