Pottermore Revealed!

by | Jun 23rd, 2011 | 5:00PM | Filed under: News, Shiny Objects

The question “What in the heck is Pottermore?” was answered today — kind of — and then the site for J.K. Rowling’s latest venture was promptly (and unsurprisingly) overwhelmed by visitors and had to shut down its sign-up function. Watch the author introduce and explain (once again, kind of) Pottermore, and then we’ll discuss:

Hmm. From watching that video, I would say that the availability of audiobooks and e-books (only through Pottermore.com — quite a business-savvy move, eh?) and some sort of new “online experience” that will launch in October were the main takeaways from the announcement, but I was left pretty foggy about what exactly that online experience would be. Clearly Rowling is going to include never-before-released background on some of the characters; that’s what she’s been “hoarding for years.” But it wasn’t until I came across this Time article that I understood precisely what to expect from Pottermore: about 18,000 words of new content, lightly animated “environments” representing some popular places from the novels (Privet Drive, Platform 9 3/4, Diagon Alley, Gringotts), the ability to submit fan artwork, and… well, not a heck of a lot else.

Now, I’m not ragging on the site, but as I predicted last week, the big reveal was pretty anticlimactic. That’s why Rowling & Co. were especially clever in timing this announcement to land amidst the Pottermania that’s building in advance of the final film’s release July 15. What’s more, on July 31 — two weeks after the last movie comes out — one million HP fans will be able to compete in an online challenge to get an early preview of Pottermore, which won’t be accessible to anyone else until October 1. Hence the email sign-up crash this afternoon. (I’ve been trying every hour or so, but no dice.) The audiobooks and e-books will then be released in succession — not all at once — prolonging the ultimate “end” of new Harry Potter content for what I guess would be at least another year, if not more.

What do you think about Pottermore? Will its “digital pop-up book” environment entice you to either reread the seven books — or maybe try them out for the first time? Or will it really All End for you and your Harry Potter fandom on July 15?

Prepare for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2!

6 Responses to “Pottermore Revealed!”

  1. moviegoer123
    Posted on June 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I haven’t read the books and from that video I watched which J.K. Rowling is telling me about Pottermore, it doesn’t make me convinced that I SHOULD read the books. That’s all Ms. Rowling can think of for Harry Potter Fans? Wouldn’t they want a fan site, or is there already one? A site where you could get audio books or eBooks of the series, that isn’t much. In my opinion, J.K. Rowling needs something more for her fans — not just this site where you can get eBooks and audiobooks. It doesn’t have enough options for the fans who love the books and movies.

  2. Brandy
    Posted on June 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

    There are many, many excellent Harry Potter fan sites, including Rowling’s own personal site (jkrowling.com), which is chock full of gifts to her readers. I’m a loyal Potter fan and count it as a formative book of my young adult life, so I’m looking forward to more information about Pottermore. I trust that it will be awesome. One point of confusion- aren’t there already several versions of HP audio books on the market?

  3. Erika Olson

    Posted on June 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Brandy – I thought the same thing about the audiobooks. But from what I can tell, none of them were “official.”

    - Erika

  4. Dave
    Posted on June 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I will probably walk away from the series after the last movie – it’s hard to go back to earlier, more innocent times after the finality of “Deathly Hallows” (at lest, that’s how I feel about the books).

    I have two of the audio books and they sure look “official”


  5. Ellen
    Posted on July 5, 2011 at 6:11 am

    The audio books – as read by Jim Dale – are definitely ‘official’. Jim Dale does an excellent job of reading the books and makes the characters come to life. I highly recommend them!

  6. Maureen
    Posted on July 11, 2011 at 1:11 am

    The audio books are awesome! They are what got me to read the books. If you have only watched the movies and not read the books, you are really missing out!! I have read all of them and listen to the audio books repeatedly. It’s like visiting an old friend when I listen to Harry find out he is a wizard all over again.