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.
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It seems Rowling is brimming with new details that’ll round out characters and enrich Harry’s story: how the Dursleys met, why Professor McGonagall may be sympathetic to Harry (hint: as a young woman, she once loved a muggle), background on the Hogwarts houses, and new information on wand wood.Skip to next paragraph
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There’s more: Pottermore will also be the only place where Rowling will release Harry Potter e-books (which we guessed in a previous Pottermore blog). After refusing to release her beloved novels as e-books for years, Rowling is finally taking the digital plunge – but doing it her way. Pottermore will likely include an online store that will bypass traditional e-book sellers to sell Harry Potter e-books directly to readers.
“[It will be] the exclusive place to purchase digital audio books and e-books of the Harry Potter series,” Rowling said in her YouTube announcement.
There will be no charge to access the site. “This is free,” Rowling added in her London press conference. “You don't have to pay to get extra materials, you don't have to buy a single thing. That was really important to me. This was about the 'give-back'.”
(Rowling has sold more than 450 million copies of the Potter books worldwide, making her one of the richest women alive.)
Although Pottermore doesn't officially launch until October, Rowling said a lucky few (we’ve heard the lucky few will actually be the first million users) can enter early, on July 31 – Harry Potter’s birthday. (Fans can submit their email addresses on Pottermore.com now, asking to be contacted by the site when registration opens July 31.)
“Simply follow the owl,” Rowling said at the end of the announcement, suggesting another trick up her sleeve, a game to determine who enters first. “Good luck.”
“Pottermore,” wrote The Guardian, “will be the only way fans will be able to get fresh material from Rowling about Harry's world. ‘I'm pretty sure I'm done on the novel front,’ [Rowling] said.’”
Even so, Potter fans can rejoice: It’s been 13 years since the first book appeared and even though the seventh book and eighth film have now been completed, Harry Potter lives on. Pottermore is Rowling’s secret potion to keep Harry and his wizarding world – not to mention readers’ imaginations – alive.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.