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JK Rowling announces Pottermore

by Hugo Jobling on 23 June 2011, 15:32

Tags: General Business

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Even more Potter!

JK Rowling will be making a break with traditional publishing come 31 October when the Harry Potter ebooks will be available for the first time, via Pottermore a newly launched website.

Although the Harry Potter ebooks won't be available until October, when the Pottermore Shop, opens, the site will be offering other content before them. On 31 July - Harry Potter's birthday - the site will open for registration, allowing users access to new material, expanding the backstory of the Harry Potter universe. Initially only a million users will be allowed in, with full access coming to all in October.

According to Rowling, a the material is a collection of details from while the original Harry Potter books were being created, and new information in response to questions from fans. Apparently the site has been in the works for two years, so Harry Potter aficionados can expect a wealth of content tailored to their taste - activities available will include having a wand selected for you, from a choice of 33,000 potential combinations, and chance to be sorted into a Hogwarts house by the Sorting Hat

JK Rowling is fortunate in that the publishers of the print versions of her works do not own the rights to the digital copies, enabling her to branch out on her own in this way. Given that the collected Harry Potter novels have so far sold over 450 million copies, it's likely that their ebook contemporaries should see a fair degree of success.

It's unknown so far whether the ebooks for sale on Pottermore will come with DRM, equally importantly, how much they will cost. Other self-publishing artists - Radiohead being the highest profile example - have previously used a name-your-own price model for digital sales, which proved very successful. Somehow we can't see Rowling offering that same offer, though.



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