**UPDATE – August 6, 2011 – with images of Pottermore challenges etc. below**
Following the owls has lead us to this:-
Pottermore, is an “unique online reading experience built around the Harry Potter books,” revealed by J.K. Rowling Thursday morning via a YouTube video and press conference.
Along with the interactive experience, there will be an online shop featuring digital audio books and for the first time E-books of all seven Harry Potter novels.
The website will also feature additional information J.K. Rowling has been “hoarding” about the wizarding world including 18,000 new words.
The information she will release includes the background story of Professor McGonagall and how Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon met.
The world will be brought to life with new illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ beginning with the Sorcerer’s Stone.
The Chamber of Secrets will be released in 2012.
Pottermore opens for use in October but a lucky few (one million fans) will get a chance to enter early, using the beta version, on July 31 (Harry Potter’s birthday).
J.K. Rowling, during the press conference, explained the reason behind Pottermore:
“Pottermore has been a really great way to give back to the Harry Potter readership, who made the books such a big success.
I am still receiving countless, a huge amount of mail – I thought it would really drop off by now.
Stories, drawings, suggestions I write prequels, sequels, every week.”
“This site is just a fantastic way for all that fan creativity to continue.
Itâ€™s been an amazing experience for me to be able to be creative in this medium that didn’t exist back in 1990 when I had the idea for the books.
And it will be a wonderful way to introduce the digital generation to the books.”
The Telegraph gave the perfect Â run-down of how Pottermore will work:
Users will go through a quick registration process and then choose their own “magical username”.
They will then be given a personal home page called â€œthe gatewayâ€ that will represent their own journey through each of the seven Harry Potter books.
Users move through the story chapter by chapter and are presented with â€œMomentsâ€ which are scenes of significance from each chapter.
In the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopherâ€™s Stone, there are 44 Moments, for readers to experience.
Tarek Nseir, chief executive of the digital agency TH_NK, which helped design the site, said:
â€œWe have tried to set the scene but allow your imagination to do the rest.â€
As fans move through the site they can scroll over different aspects of each scene such as a Privet Drive sign or a cupboard under the stairs.
They can then click on items such as Harryâ€™s sock and uncover new writing from Rowling and additional information about the characters.
Readers will be given a key to access Gringotts Wizarding Bank where a virtual currency will be available to enable them to choose items from a shopping list needed to complete their journey.
They will be issued with one of 33,000 wands and can collect items such as chocolate frog cards and spout flavoured beans to put in their trunk.
Users will answer a series of questions selected at random from a vast pool and will be sorted into one of Hogwarts four houses based on their answers.
The chosen house will be the centre of their experience but Rowling insisted that those not placed in Gryffindor, Harryâ€™s house, should not be disappointed as they will be offered an extra quarter of a chapter to meet prefects and learn about the â€œtrue natureâ€ of their own house.
Rowling disclosed that she always considered Gryffindor and Slytherin to be the two closest houses and said that Harry himself could have gone into either.
She said she had tested the pool of questions on her own family and each of them was sorted into the house she had predicted.
The author said that each users profile would grow as they progress through the books and add their own comments, drawings and pictures as they go.
They will mix potions, challenge other users to duels and interact with various characters along the way.
Mr Nseir said: â€œThe future will be decided by you the reader. Itâ€™s the same story but with one new addition, you.â€
Screenshots of Pottermore via The Leaky Cauldron:
Thoughts? Complaints? I for one am overjoyed at the revealing of Pottermore and cannot wait to be a part of this experience.
From being sorted to choosing a wand, this is what every Harry Potter fan has dreamed about, going to Hogwarts!
Submit your email to Pottermore.com for updates and a chance at entering Pottermore on July 31st!
**images via The Leaky Cauldron**
**UPDATE – August 6, 2011 – Images by Sasha Muradali and Ashley Bryce:**
Info from the Pottermore site:
Each day for seven days, from 31 July to 6 August, we will be placing a clue on the Pottermore homepage to help you find The Magical Quill. There will be a new clue every day, and each clue will relate to a different book in the Harry Potter series. On Day 1 the clue will relate to HARRY POTTER and the Philosopherâ€™s Stone, on Day 2 the clue will relate to HARRY POTTER and the Chamber of Secrets, and so forth. The clues will also vary in difficulty. On Days 1-3 the clues will be harder, and on Days 4-7 the clues will be easier.
To find The Magical Quill, you need to solve the clue and add the answer to the end of the web address http://quill.pottermore.com This will lead you to a website where The Magical Quill will be located while early access places are available.
Clue: How many books are there in the Harry Potter series? Multiply this number by 10.
Next, add this number to the end of the website address. In this case it would be http://quill.pottermore.com/70
Then hit â€˜Returnâ€™ to go to the website where The Magical Quill is located.
Once you have found The Magical Quill, you will be redirected to Pottermore.com. If the registration process is still open for that day, you will be able to submit your details to register to access Pottermore early.
Registration for Pottermore is now closed. It will be open to everyone in early October. Check back for exclusive details. Congratulations to everyone that got in early!
Ashley Bryce holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Classical Studies from the University of Florida (Go GATORS!). She is fluent in Latin and has a passion for translation. A Miami girl who loves politics, old movies, Doris Day, and all things Harry Potter related. Find her on Twitter (@ashleyellene) and LinkedIN.
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