Pottermore: the Harry Potter eBook Store

Pottermore JK Rowling
JK Rowling has revealed that Pottermore, the mysterious new website that debuted last week, is the future home of digital editions of Harry Potter. Beginning in October, ebook and digital audiobook versions of Harry Potter will be available for the first time ever. The ebooks will only be available on Pottermore, but will be compatible across various ereaders (Kindle, Nook, iPad) via the OverDrive platform.

Watch JK Rowling announce Pottermore:

According to the press release, Pottermore is “ultimately intended to become an online reading experience” that will feature “extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories.” In October, the new website will feature an interactive storyline based on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Upon entering, users pick a username and begin moving through the chapters. There will be will exclusive new writing from Rowling, and you can visit Diagon Alley, choose a wand from Ollivanders, get sorted into a house, cast spells, and mix potions to help your house compete for the house cup. The second interactive storyline, for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live on the site in early 2012.

While most of us will have to wait until October to use Pottermore, one million people will be chosen to have early access to the site. Registration for Pottermore.com will begin on July 31, Harry’s birthday. The first one million people to complete their registration, which also includes an “online challenge,” will gain early entry into the website.

JK Rowling said in a statement: “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.”

It’s interesting that Rowling decided to sell the Harry Potter ebooks directly to readers, bypassing retailers like Amazon and Apple. According to TheBookseller.com, that decision was made so that Rowling would have control over the ebooks and because she didn’t want to restrict the content to a particular device. The CEO of Pottermore, Rod Henwood, said that they will set the pricing, although it’s not clear yet what that price point will be. Rowling’s publishers, Scholastic and Bloomsbury, are partners in this new effort and will also share in the revenue.

So what do you think of Pottermore? Is it what you expected? Personally, I’m excited that Harry is finally going digital. Let me know what you think in the comments.

You can take a look at a few photos from Pottermore below.

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