Cyber Wizardry

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?All was well? the most read literary line by children all round the world. This is the famous last line from the last book of Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

JK Rowling the master mind behind the Harry Potter series has told that she would not be writing anymore about the wizard.

“I do have closure with Harry,” Rowling told reporters at the launch of the Pottermore website

“I have no plans to write another novel. I’m pretty sure I’m done on the novel front…But it was fun while it lasted.”

Such is the scale of Rowling’s fan base and the success of her novels that any indication of a new novel would be major news in the publishing and cinema world.

Releasing the news about Pottermore has caused such a stir both among the fans and the publishing industry as a whole.

It is not a new book nor has anything to do with the release of the movie Deathly Hallows.

JK Rowling who has revolution reading and created a new generation of readers has taken the plunge into the digital world.

Launching an online store that will sell Harry Potter e-books directly to consumers in October (just in time for Halloween).

Lots in store

?The owls are gathering,? reads the mysterious note on a mock YouTube channel. Following clues left on several ?Harry Potter? fan sites, a new Web site appeared Thursday with a simple ?Coming Soon,? banner and the signature of author J.K. Rowling.

A click on the owl leads you to a countdown. Presumably, in six days Rowling will make an announcement about what the Web site will entail.

Everyone is excited to know what could be the content of the new web page.


Pottermore is a development by digital creative agency Think, (in close partnership with Rowling) and sponsored by Sony.

It wont be the home of a new book, the spokeswoman for JK Rowling told the Associated press. However it might be an online?universe for all the other characters in the Potter world.

The site sets out to entertain and inform readers as they follow the books? storylines.

It is hoped that Pottermore inspires a new generation of readers to engage with the Harry Potter books. The platform features a host of newly commissioned illustrations and interactive gaming elements.

Unleash the spells

The site, referred to by Rowling as an ?online reading experience unlike any other,? is designed to promote reading and encourages readers to interact with the Potter world by uploading their own comments, stories and drawings.

The fact that it contains 18,000 words of new material written by Rowling, which offers the back stories and extra information on characters, makes it a must-see for diehard fans.


The aim is to create a world of fantasy and imagination.

There are interactive ?moments? in each chapter.

In the first book, there are 44 of these moments.

One such example includes Diagon Alley, where you can enter Gringots (the wizard bank) and pick up 175 Galleons (the in-game currency). This can be used to buy items on your shopping list from shops such as Wiseacre?s Wizarding Equipment.

A virtual train carriage can be experiment on your way to Hogwarts, finding digital trinkets such as magic beans and different spell cards that you can add to your personalized trunk for use later.

The trunk can be accessed on your profile page, which shows all of your friends, digital wallet, all of your digital items, details about the wand you have and the house you are in.

Then comes the infamous Sorting Hat, which allocated users to a Hogwarts house. You go through a series of multiple choice questions to asses you character.

Based on your unique responses, you get allocated a house: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. I volunteered to be sorted into a house in the press conference and got sorted into Gryffindor.

Having been sorted into a house, you can challenge fellow students to wizard duels or by successfully mixing potions in order to win points for your house. This part seems to play a little like a multiplayer game ? with leagues of point-winners competing against each other.

You can also see what your friends are doing on Pottermore; you can find out where they are in the storyline and go and meet them should you so wish.

Fine tuning

Rowling took a hands-on approach to Pottermore and came up with questions for the aforementioned Sorting Hat and for the Wand Chooser ? which selects the appropriate wand for each user for one of thousands of possible combinations.

All of these extra details appear to be the Harry Potter encyclopedia that Rowling has alluded to in the past. Think has previously worked with Sony to create Little Big Map ? a huge Google Maps mashup that allows fans of the game Little Big Planet to connect with each other.

Pottermore will be first opened in beta on July 31 (Harry?s birthday) to a million fans, who will be required to find a Magical Quill in an online treasure hunt.

They will be able to feed back their comments and criticisms of the site in order to shape the final look and feel of the website before it opens to everyone on Oct. 1.

This will also be when the Pottermore shop will open, allowing people to purchase the e-books and digital audiobooks in a selection of languages.

The second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live in early 2012. Other books will follow later.

More after July 31.

Till then farewell to all Muggels!

?EVANESCO?! (disappear)

Source: ebook magazine, Reuters, Wall Street Journal,? Wired UK, NW Times, Teleread, The Persicope Post, Washington Post

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