J.K. Rowling announces e-books, Pottermore

June 23rd, 2011 - 9:02 pm ICT by BNO News  

LONDON (BNO NEWS) — J.K. Rowling, the British author best known as the creator of the Harry Potter fantasy series, on Thursday announced the launch of ‘Pottermore’, a free-to-use website which builds an online experience around the reading of her successful Harry Potter books. It will also include an online store which will for the first time sell her books in electronic format.

Rowling made the announcement simultaneously during a news conference in London and a pre-recorded video on YouTube, in which she said she is still astonished and delighted by the response her stories have met. “Even though the seventh book and the eighth film have now been completed, I’m still receiving hundreds of letters every week, and Harry’s fans remain as enthusiastic and inventive as ever,” Rowling said.

Even though the author has previously refused to release her books in electronic format, Rowling said she is “thrilled” to offer something unique to fans of Harry Potter. “It’s called Pottermore,” she said.

For the collaborative project, Rowling has written new material about the characters, places and objects in the popular stories, which will inform and entertain readers as they go through the stories of the books. “The digital generation will be able to enjoy a safe, unique online reading experience built around the Harry Potter books,” she said. “Pottermore will be the place where fans of any age can share, participate in, and rediscover the stories.”

On the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive moments through which users can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Sorcerer’s Stone. On entering the website, users choose a magic username. As they move through the chapters, users can read and share exclusive writing from Rowling.

“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,” Rowling said. “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.”

The website, which will be available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish, will be open to everyone from October. “But a lucky few can enter early and help shape the experience. Simply, follow the owl,” Rowling said.

To enter Pottermore early, fans will have to complete an online challenge on pottermore.com starting June 31, Harry’s birthday. The first million people who complete their registration through the challenge will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.

The storyline of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live on the website in early 2012. It is not yet known when the other books will be available on Pottermore.

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