Harry Potter goes digital with new website, e-books

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling on Thursday took her lucrative boy wizard firmly into the digital age, unveiling a website with new material and revealing that his adventures will now also be sold as e-books.

The multimillion-selling author made the announcement at a press conference in London after days of fevered speculation about her new project, which had been shrouded in secrecy and rumour.

But in a blow to her fans, Rowling said she had “no plans” to write another Potter book.

The free, interactive website, www.pottermore.com, will go live from July 31 for one million Potter fans who pass a special online challenge, and to the general public from October.

The seven novels in the series will be then available as paid-for e-books through the website from October, in partnership with Sony. Other merchandise including digital audiobooks in a range of languages will also be on sale.


Digital generation
“It’s a wonderful way to introduce the digital generation to the books,” the 45-year-old Rowling told reporters.

Rowling said Potter fans will be able to register on the free website using one of the young sorcerers from the books as their online identity, then play games and interact with elements of the fictional world.

The site will also have previously unpublished material that she has written on the backgrounds to the characters and their lives at Hogwarts Academy, a fictional school for young wizards.

“I had more than half of the new material already written,” Rowling said, adding that some of it had been “literally” dug out of boxes.

“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,” she said.

“I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have.”

Disappointment
Rowling revealed that she had “no plans” to write another Harry Potter novel but said that a rumoured Potter encyclopaedia was a possibility.

Her comments will disappoint fans whose appetite was whetted in October when Rowling told US chat show host Oprah Winfrey that she would not rule out writing another novel.

The author laid down her pen — and Harry’s magic wand — when she finished the seventh book in 2007, with 400-million copies of the novels sold around the world.

She said, however, that she was unable to leave Harry Potter and his world behind.

“It is exactly like an ex-boyfriend,” she said. “I only cried like that when my mum died. It completely changed my life. It is impossible to overstate what Harry Potter meant to me. I adore my readers.”

Next month sees the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the final film in the epic saga, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Emma Watson as Hermione Granger and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

The grey areas in Jake White’s coaching career

The World Cup-winning coach has an impeccable CV, with an illustrious coaching career that has taken him all over the globe. But he has a reputation problem

Chefs switch to mini dynamos

The small but mighty microgreens are being grown in urban farms and used in local menus

The mystical everyday

The world is hilariously strange yet beautifully familiar in Jonas Lekganyane’s animated series

Jacob Zuma and the invisibility cloak

The presidency released a statement that Zuma has in fact been in Parliament. The reason you can’t see him? Magic.

JK Rowling supports fight against Scottish independence

The Harry Potter author believes Scotland is better off remaining in the United Kingdom, unlike famous Scots Sean Connery and Irvine Welsh.

Harry Potter’s Radcliffe evolves with darker roles

Not long ago, Daniel Radcliffe traded in his black-rimmed Harry Potter glasses for a bold acting choice. And he has never looked back.
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Vitamin therapy is for drips

It may be marketed by influencers, but intravenous vitamin therapy is not necessary and probably not worth the hype, experts say

Facebook, Instagram indiscriminately flag #EndSars posts as fake news

Fact-checking is appropriate but the platforms’ scattershot approach has resulted in genuine information and messages about Nigerians’ protest against police brutality being silenced

Murder of anti-mining activist emboldens KZN community

Mam’Ntshangase was described as a fierce critic of mining and ambassador for land rights.

Unite with Nigeria’s ‘Speak Up’ generation protesting against police brutality

Photos of citizens draped in the bloodied flag have spread around the world in the month the country should be celebrating 60 years of independence
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday