J.K. Rowling reveals Pottermore, says it is a unique online experience [Updated]
J.K. Rowling announced Pottermore will be a "unique online reading experience" that will launch in October.
In a prerecorded YouTube video that might have raised more questions about Pottermore than answers Thursday morning, Rowling said Pottermore will be where fans of any age can go to relive the Harry Potter story once the eighth and final movie in the series launches in July.
"It's the same story with a few crucial additions," Rowling said. "The most important one is you."
Rowling was vague on how exactly readers will be interjected in Pottermore, though some websites speculated that Pottermore will be an online game not unlike World of Warcraft after a memo leak.
One thing that was clear was that Pottermore will be the exclusive distributor of digital audiobooks and eBooks of the Harry Potter series, according to the video.
After the YouTube video was posted, the Pottermore website no longer displayed a simple "Coming Soon..." page but also offered a few more details on Rowling's latest project, describing Pottermore as "a free website that builds an exciting online experience around the reading of the Harry Potter books."
"Come back on 31st July to find out how you can get the chance to enter Pottermore early," Pottermore.com reads.
Rowling said in the video that some fans will be given early access to the site.
"Pottermore is open to everyone from October, but a lucky few can enter early and help shape the experience," she said. "Simply follow the owl."
[Updated 9:45 a.m.: The first million fans to complete an online challenge on July 31, Harry Potter's birthday in the story, will be granted access early, according to a press release for Pottermore.
The following day, Pottermore and Pottermore Shop will launch.
Users of the site will begin Pottermore by choosing a name and then navigating through the stories in the first book of the series, "The Sorceror's Stone." The second book, "The Chamber of Secrets," will be introduced to Pottermore in early 2012, according to the release.
"As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you," read the release.
Pottermore Shop, which will the distribute the digital audiobooks and eBooks will also sell "products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans," according to the release.
The intent of Pottermore is to introduce the characters and stories of Harry Potter to younger generations while still catering to its original fans, the release said.
"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," Rowling said in the release.]
-- Salvador Rodriguez
Image: Screenshot of J.K. Rowling's YouTube video. Credit: YouTube