Harry Potter author JK Rowling has revealed details of Pottermore, an interactive Harry Potter reading experience which will also offer e-books and audio books.
A teaser of the website has been up for some time now, with many Harry Potter fans hoping it will carry on the series, after the final movie based on the books is released this summer.
“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,” said Rowling in a statement.
“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,” she said.
The project will include extensive new material on the characters, places and objects from the books. There will be newly commissioned illustrations and interactive “moments” letting users navigate parts of the book.
Site visitors can choose a username and move through the chapters along with the characters, letting them visit Harry Potter locations, such as Diagon Alley. They can get sorted into a house within the school of Hogwarts, receive a personal wand from Ollivander from more than 330,000 combinations and compete for the House Cup.
The site will exclusively offer e-books of the Harry Potter series for the first time in partnership with Rowling’s publishers.
The shop will also eventually include more Harry Potter products and will offer “a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore.”
“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,” said Rowling.
“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,” she said.
Pottermore will be officially launched from October 2011, but registration opens on 31 July. There is also an online challenge where, if the first million fans complete their registration, they gain early entry to the site.