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Pottermore Announcement: Details on J. K. Rowling's Next Harry Potter Project; Video, Pictures, Press Conference Quotes

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: Edward
June 23, 2011, 06:41 AM

Update: J. K. Rowling's Pottermore announcement video released: WATCH HERE or below.  Pottermore screenshots and publicity photos here.  Info as we get it: 

  • Pottermore is an interactive new Web site and reading experience with more than 18,000 new words from J.K. Rowling: Much more to come.
  • JKR behind the scenes filming the video picture. 
  • An online experience to read, interact with and share the Harry Potter stories. Exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling and more.
  • Pottermore will feature infromation J.K. Rowling has been "hoarding" for years about Harry Potter.
  • Pottermore will be the exclusive place to purchase the digital audio books and, at last, eBooks of the Harry Potter series.
  • Pottermore was developed in association with the leading digital company, @th_nktweets
  • Pottermore was also created in partnership with @sony!
  • One million fans will get access to a beta on July 31, Harry's birthday. It will be open for all in October 2011.
  • The launch of Pottermore will have more than 18,000 words from J.K. Rowling, but that is only a third of what she has written so far.
  • J.K. Rowling said this morning that there is a lot more content to come for the Pottermore site, and she will develop it as it grows.
  • This morning J.K. Rowling said that she and Harry have a "casual relationship," instead of the serious kind they once had.
  • "I've never cried over a man as much as I've cried over Harry." - JKR 
  • The idea came from a conv. with her agent about how to help Harry live on in today's digital age.
  • JKR downloaded eBooks for the 1st time this year and loved it - "a thousand books in your pocket" - tho she loves paper.
  • You will follow the story, get sorted into a house and get a wand (one of 33,000 possible combinations) - all crafted by JKR.
  • JKR is excited to include a long backstory on McGonagall - her childhood, ministry career, early heartbreak...
  • A lot of the Pottermore team is Hufflepuff, which JKR said is what "you want in a team - they're workers!"
  • JKR said if you're not sorted into Gryffindor you get even more exclusive content about your house.
  • Chamber of Secrets story to debut in 2012. 
  • Also shown this morning, there will be info on Minerva McGonagall's long friendship with Dumbledore
  • A lot of the Pottermore team is Hufflepuff, which JKR said is what "you want in a team - they're workers!"
  • A physical encyclopedia may come one day, JKR said, but she is not positive.
  • Also mentioned that Vernon ad Petunia met at work, backstory also on Pottermore.
  • JKR on Pottermore: "I've worked with the most incredible team at TH_NK to make it come alive."  

Update 2: Scholastic, the US publishers of the Harry Potter books, has issued a press release, they say:
Scholastic is proud to be a key partner in the Pottermore project, including connecting teachers and parents from our school and online channels directly to ebook sales via Pottermore and providing marketing and promotion support.  We’re excited about the new content from J.K. Rowling to go along with the books. This will surely inspire more interest in the series and bring a whole new generation of readers to Harry Potter.  We’re pleased to support Pottermore because we know the power of the Harry Potter books to turn kids into lifelong readers, and we believe every child should experience Harry Potter – whether in ebooks or in print. In addition, Scholastic will receive a royalty on sales of the U.S. editions of the ebooks.
Update 3: JKRowling.com, the author's official website, has been updated to note the announcement of Pottermore.  The update, posted in the News section, reads:
You may have recently noticed a number of owls on various websites leading you to a YouTube film, where I have announced my latest, exciting piece of news.
POTTERMORE is a new web site, where you can enjoy an online experience based around the Harry Potter books, which includes exclusive new information from me. If you would like to see the announcement film please click here.
Whilst you'll hear more from me on pottermore.com at the moment, jkrowling.com remains my own personal website for various content such as updated biography and bibliography, and links to relevant organisations, including the charities I support.
The AP was on hand at the press conference this morning.  Photos can be seen here.

The owls continue to gather as the countdown ticks closer to the release of Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling's anticipated announcement on Pottermore, her latest Harry Potter project.  As we reported yesterday, press conference is said to be set for Victoria and Albert Museum this afternoon (UK time) regarding Ms. Rowling's announcement.  Leaky will have up to the minute updates on Pottermore so stay close!

Full press release below:

J.K. Rowling today, Thursday 23rd June, answered mounting speculation about the nature of her new project and announced Pottermore, a unique and free-to-use website which builds an exciting online experience around the reading of her hugely successful Harry Potter books, and is partnered by Sony.  

The announcement today was heralded by the revealing of the website’s name via an online search for its letters, and a ‘coming soon’ holding page which received over a million visits within 36 hours of launching.

For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. 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 will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with J.K. Rowling’s publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans.  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.  In keeping with Harry Potter’s international appeal, the site will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.

In the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience.  As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your 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. In an announcement which will thrill fans, 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.

J.K. Rowling’s announcement on YouTube and sony.com today revealed that Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011.  From today, 23rd June, fans can submit their email addresses on Pottermore.com in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on 31st July, Harry’s birthday.  Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.  

J.K. Rowling commented,

“I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation.  I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have.  Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site.”

Pottermore has been made possible with the support and partnership of Sony.  

Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation, commented:

“Sony's association with J.K. Rowling's Pottermore brings together one of the world’s most innovative  brands with the most successful book series in history, in a pioneering partnership that will help shape the future of story-telling.  We are proud to be a part of it, both at this momentous announcement, and as we collaborate on its development over the coming years.”

On Sony’s partnership of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling commented:

“As I think people know, I am very protective of Harry and have always been very selective with any new initiatives, but I am totally committed to making this partnership with Sony and this wonderful new website a success.  There are many companies I could have worked with on this ultimate digital expression of Harry Potter’s universe, but it is Sony’s unique philosophy of creativity in harmony with technology that made them my first choice as main partner. The spirit behind Sony’s make.believe philosophy is one that rings true with Pottermore’s own values.”

The detailed creative execution has been led by TH_NK, a leading UK digital agency, under the supervision of J.K. Rowling and the Pottermore management team, in co-operation with Sony.  J.K. Rowling’s publishers, Bloomsbury in the UK and Scholastic in the USA, as well as her international publishers worldwide, have been active supporters in the creation of pottermore.com and the Pottermore Shop.  Warner Bros, the makers of the hugely successful Harry Potter film franchise, is also one of the partners who have worked to support the launch of Pottermore through a variety of marketing, promotional and other efforts, and will continue to collaborate as the project grows.  

The storyline of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live on the site in early 2012.  The Pottermore Shop opens when the site opens to all in October, selling complete ranges of the eBooks and digital audiobooks in a selection of languages, exclusively.

Designed for fans of all ages, the website has been created with child safety in mind, employing best practice and compliance with internet codes of practice in the UK, Europe and USA, and elsewhere.  



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221 Comments

Avatars_books_house_may08_thumb
33 Points

YYYaaayyy!!!! is this instead of an encyclopedia???

Posted by luvpotter48 on June 23, 2011, 07:46 PM report to moderator
Th_hogwarts_thumb
118 Points

I wonder how long it will take until we can submit emails again… I tried five minutes after the site opened and it was already down!

Posted by half-bloodprince on June 23, 2011, 07:47 PM report to moderator
New-harry-ron-hermione-on-the-run-deathly-hallows-part-i-poster-harry-potter-15977926-563-835_thumb
63 Points

It’s back to normal I just submitted my email address fifteen minutes ago.

Posted by HunterGoddess on June 23, 2011, 07:52 PM report to moderator
Dscn0187_thumb
2890 Points

So is this going to be July 31st British time or July 31st American time? Hoping British time because I wouldn’t have to stay up so late here in America to try and be one of the first million!

Posted by Laura Keaton [WBM!] on June 23, 2011, 08:06 PM report to moderator
Luna_lovegood_thumb
101 Points

my my my im soooo excited!!!

Posted by LoopeyLooneyLuna on June 23, 2011, 08:12 PM report to moderator
Dhsmall_thumb
229 Points

OMG!! After a long day at work this is what I needed!! I cannot wait!!

Posted by akcorr on June 23, 2011, 08:32 PM report to moderator
Hermione_thumb
184 Points

Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!! Can’t wait to read all the new material and get sorted! The artwork for Pottermore is really fantastic as well. Thanks Jo!

Posted by Fawkes1706 on June 23, 2011, 08:41 PM report to moderator
Deathly-hallows-sign_thumb
135 Points

I just got my email in so if anyone else has had trouble, they might be able to try again and get in.

Posted by xanzibar on June 23, 2011, 08:54 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
373 Points

This is going to be amazing! :) I can’t wait! And hooray for this comment: A lot of the Pottermore team is Hufflepuff, which JKR said is what “you want in a team – they’re workers!”

;) <3 Hufflepuffs!

Posted by asiefert on June 23, 2011, 09:54 PM report to moderator
Th_hogwarts_thumb
118 Points

That’s so cool that the people who worked on it were Sorted! :D

Posted by half-bloodprince on June 23, 2011, 10:59 PM report to moderator
Hogwarts_dementor_thumb
218 Points

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT!!!! AND THIS DAY CANT GET BETTER I BOOKED 3D MIDNIGHT PREMIERE TICKETS TODAY TOO! :P LONG LIVE HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by HIFireWhiskers58 on June 23, 2011, 11:55 PM report to moderator
Gossipgirlxoxo-716360_100_100_thumb
56 Points

Haha it took me so long to get my email in, but I finally did :)

Posted by roseteaxx on June 24, 2011, 10:15 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
41 Points

I feel like I’m crazy, and here’s why: Am I the only one happy that it’s not a new book? Everyone keeps talking about prequels and sequels, but we’ve had 7 wonderful books! 7 books that nurtured us through childhood, I think I can let go of the idea of more books.

But also, I can’t help but feel let down by this announcement. I think in this fandom we’ve come to expect GRAND things, like movies and theme parks. So when I heard the announcement of a soon to be announcement, I was thrilled! “Something epic is acomin!” I exclaimed. A week later I’m up at 5:45 am and I wait sleepily for 15 minutes, to be told that I get to reread the books again! But this time there’s animation! and some digital stuff! (mind you I am quite thrilled to be sorted).

It’s just that what most people seem to want is a true way to interact with the Harry Potter world,( and maybe this is it and I’m wrong) and essentially this is sort of sounding like a text based RPG where you aren’t entirely playing. SO yes I was on the MMO bandwagon, because I feel like we live in a digital age where gaming and story telling are not two separate things anymore (Portal 2 anyone?) I just feel like if we’re going to take Harry into the digital age, well than let’s do it! I know this is about bringing it back to the literature which I am all for, it’s just weird to have it ushered in with the promise of a game (sorta) and than have it not be a game.

I’m not saying I won’t buy into this completely once it’s out. Because I am a diehard fan, I want those extra tidbits. I do! I was just hoping for something truly interactive, where me and the story were one. Where I got to wander the halls of Hogwarts, and beat up death eaters with my spells of awesomeness, and not just in my head, because Harry Potter has been out of my head for awhile, between the movies and theme parks and merchandise, he exists outside of our imaginations now. I dunno, again I could be crazy, and who knows maybe this whole thing is about bring Harry back to out imaginations.

Posted by Emerson Nidigith on June 24, 2011, 11:31 AM report to moderator
Batman_thumb
177 Points

Why did I have to miss this?! D: I was hoping to watch it as it happened but school got in the way… Oh well at least I know now and CAN’T WAIT!! whines October is too far awayy whines some more

Posted by Crazy and Proud on June 24, 2011, 12:43 PM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
87 Points

@ Emerson,
Coming from someone who doesn’t play video games, I disagree. I like the format Jo has chosen because it can include everyone. I would never get into a video game, even if it is Harry Potter.

Lots of people talk about the story in games. But I have played them (I used to play lots of games) and even games with supposedly epic stories have the stories as a periphery element. Lots of hitting buttons with bits of story in between. I think the story should be central to the experience; which it seems to be in this case.

Now, I think there’s a place for a MMO game in addition to this. But I think pottermore will be bigger than any game because the story is central and it can include people who play video games and those who don’t.

Posted by entoptic on June 24, 2011, 01:22 PM report to moderator
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