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Pottermore: the secret is out

Pottermore is a free, collaborative website that will offer new material about Harry Potter and exclusive access to Harry Potter e-books.

By Husna Haq / June 23, 2011

Pottermore will now be the only source for new material from J.K. Rowling about Harry Potter and his world. "I'm pretty sure I'm done on the novel front," Rowling said.

Akira Suemori/AP

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Looks like JK Rowling had the last laugh.

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In the hours leading up to the anticipated announcement, scores of news organizations published “leaked” reports revealing that Pottermore would be an online Harry Potter game and global treasure hunt.

So it was an unexpected surprise today when Ms. Rowling revealed the true nature of Pottermore: Pottermore is a free, collaborative website that will offer readers an online reading experience with extensive new material about the world of Potter. The site will launch in October in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. (More languages will eventually follow.)

“I’m thrilled to say I’m now in a position to give you something unique: an online reading experience unlike any other. It’s called Pottermore,” Rowling said in her YouTube announcement. “Pottermore will be where fans of any age can share, participate in, and rediscover stories…. I’ll be joining in, too, because I’ll be sharing additional information I’ve been hoarding for years about the world of Harry Potter.”

Fans of all ages will be able to enter a virtual world they’ve been imagining for years. In the online Potter universe, readers will choose a magical username, be sorted into a Hogwarts house just as Harry was in the books, choose wands, experience life at Hogwarts, and journey through Harry’s adventures as they play games, cast spells, mix potions, and collect points. For now, the website will be limited to the first Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone.”

The part muggles will go mad for? The as-yet unpublished extra material Rowling will share about the people, places, and plots she’s created. And there’s a lot of it. “[T]he fresh Potter background from the author already stretches to 18,000 words, with more to come,” reported The Guardian, which attended Rowling’s London press conference Thursday morning.

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