Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pottermore - The Final Reveal

Read transcript of today's press conference at The Leaky Cauldron!

More on early entry from ShannonAshley in comments: Sounds like we have to wait to even hear HOW to qualify. Found this in the "help" section:
"Does leaving my email address give me a chance of early entry to Pottermore?
To find out more how you might qualify for early entry come back on 31st July."
See Official Press Release near end, before comments.

My Analysis: It seems to me that getting in early to Pottermore will be a combination of registering first, but probably on the registration, you'll have to have found some clue.  And the owls will lead you to it.  She hints at the owls that were on the fansites, such as Leaky and Mugglenet.  Leaky has been tweeting loads of info about Pottermore not available through the Youtube or press release.  So, I imagine that we're still on a massive hunt for clues and that the images of owls will be planted online in place like Leaky and Mugglenet to help us find the way.  My guess.

I'm so glad we documented so much about the Youtube page here and the owls, because perhaps that will all come in handy. If I'm understanding it correctly.

JK Rowling Interview with BBC

Quote from JKR in interview:
"It's a very sumptuous environment we've created, a very detailed environment. I think it visually very much reflects the depth of the world in the books."

And video from press conference:

Original post started here:

I'll be posting here as Pottermore is announced, as well as Twitter. I'm going to keep posting things in the article section rather than comments. So, if you're reading along, just hit refresh occasionally. I'll also be updating on my Twitter: @HP4Writers .

One very cool clue just posted on Twitter that I did not catch by Tom @HPSupporters - those bottom three leaves to the left are not leaves, they're quills! And the owls seem to be looking at them, pointing their way. The quills fall to the ground, so maybe we're supposed to go find them! Thanks Tom!

More updates coming!

We are to #followtheowl!

The site is live for registration

#followtheowl - so it sounds like #pottermore will include encyclopedia and backstory elements, as well as fanfiction?

What did you all make out of all that?

I think it's a good thing we documented so much about the owls before they disappeared!

Quotes from JK Rowling on video: 
The experience of reading requires that the imaginations of the author & reader work together to create the story.. JK Rowling #followtheowl

I'll be joining in too because I will be sharing additional info I've been hoarding for years about the world of #HP -JKR #followtheowls

from - POTTERMORE is a new web site, where you can enjoy an online experience based around the Harry Potter books, which includes exclusive new information from me.

#Pottermore - an online reading experience unlike any other... It's the same story with a few crucial additions. The most important one is you. JK Rowling

#followtheowl - So #Pottermore will be built in part by you, the reader. JK Rowling


From Leaky: you will follow the story, get sorted into a house and get a wand (one of 33,000 possibles) - all crafted by JKR.

JKR is excited to include a long backstory on McGonagall-her childhood, ministry career, early heartbreak.

Also mentioned that Vernon ad Petunia met at work, backstory also on #pottermore

Sorting and wand choice occurs w/ questions JKR has created. +Specific info on wandwoods and what they say about you.

"You get one shot at this. It's like a Mensa test, there's no going back." JKR on Sorting.

Official Press Release:
Press release: J.K. Rowling announces Pottermore

J.K. Rowling today, Thursday 23rd June, answered mounting speculation about the nature of her new project and announced Pottermore, a unique and free-to-use website which builds an exciting online experience around the reading of her hugely successful Harry Potter books, and is partnered by Sony.

The announcement today was heralded by the revealing of the website’s name via an online search for its letters, and a ‘coming soon’ holding page which received over a million visits within 36 hours of launching.

For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books. Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with J.K. Rowling’s publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans. As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore. In keeping with Harry Potter’s international appeal, the site will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.

In the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. 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. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.

At a press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Rowling revealed some key features of the website. In an announcement which will thrill fans, she described how she hasbrought to life both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat - which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics - and the magic behind the Wand Chooser – which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000 possible combinations. She also revealed glimpses of the new information she has provided on some of the best-loved characters.

J.K. Rowling’s announcement on YouTube and today revealed that Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011. From today, 23rd June, fans can submit their email addresses on in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on 31st July, Harry’s birthday. Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.

J.K. Rowling commented,“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. 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.”

Pottermore has been made possible with the support and partnership of Sony.Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation, commented:
“Sony's association with J.K. Rowling's Pottermore brings together one of the world’s most innovative brands with the most successful book series in history, in a pioneering partnership that will help shape the future of story-telling. We are proud to be a part of it, both at this momentous announcement, and as we collaborate on its development over the coming years.”

On Sony’s partnership of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling commented:
“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. 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.”

The detailed creative execution has been led by TH_NK, a leading UK digital agency, under the supervision of J.K. Rowling and the Pottermore management team, in co-operation with Sony. J.K. Rowling’s publishers, Bloomsbury in the UK and Scholastic in the USA, as well as her international publishers worldwide, have been active supporters in the creation of and the Pottermore Shop. Warner Bros, the makers of the hugely successful Harry Potter film franchise, is also one of the partners who have worked to support the launch of Pottermore through a variety of marketing, promotional and other efforts, and will continue to collaborate as the project grows.

The storyline of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live on the site in early 2012. The Pottermore Shop opens when the site opens to all in October, selling complete ranges of the eBooks and digital audiobooks in a selection of languages, exclusively.

Designed for fans of all ages, the website has been created with child safety in mind, employing best practice and compliance with internet codes of practice in the UK, Europe and USA, and elsewhere.

Additional Comments from JK Rowling:

"We knew there was a big demand for ebooks, but...I wanted it to be something more than that," the author explained.

"I wanted to pull it back to the reading, to the literary and story experience...I've had a lot to do with virtually every aspect of it."

“I do have closure with Harry,” Rowling told reporters in London at the launch of “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.”

"It's a great way to get back to the Harry Potter readership," she told reporters. "I had more than half of the new material already written."

'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.

And finally:

"This is free,” added JKR, “you don’t have to buy a single thing. That was really important to me. This was about the ‘give-back’.”


  1. Have you been able to submit your email address for registration? Its not working for me :(

  2. Yea, the couple times that I was able to enter my e-mail address, it came up with error as soon as I submitted.

  3. I haven't, seems like they are way overloaded cause it took me a long time just to see the home page.

  4. I guess we aren't the only ones who got up for this :)

  5. I am a bit confused, in the video she says to follow the owl, but online it just says to come back July 31, and that all you have to do to get in early is register first.

  6. I think it has something to do with an online challenge. And the quills, there isn't one on her desk on the site. So maybe we do have to find them..

  7. YES! Got in! Sorry, I had to share it with someone....

  8. Guys! The Pottermore site is overwhelmed and people can't register. Try back later!

  9. Congrats Niki! Tell us if there was anything more than just giving your e-mail

  10. nope, nothing more. Unless you count agreeing to terms and conditions. I'm so excited!!!

  11. Yes, I think Niki is probably right. I'm guessing here, but it seems to me that it will be a combination of registering first, but probably on the registration, you'll have to have found some clue. And the owls will lead you to it.

  12. Guys, hit refresh. I just updated with official press release!

  13. I've updated again with pictures embedded and made the post easier to read.

  14. Gosh, that was a rush to put the reveal of Pottermore online even before The Guardian and The BBC ^^
    But, I guess we/you were right in the last prediction. It will be a sort of RPG, but also an encyclopedia (or at least background) ^^

  15. Luckily was able to submit email. Nothing apart from confirmation. No clues or anything.

  16. Sounds like we have to wait to even hear HOW to qualify. Found this in the "help" section:

    "Does leaving my email address give me a chance of early entry to Pottermore?

    To find out more how you might qualify for early entry come back on 31st July."

  17. Shannon, thank you so much for that! I've updated the reveal post with your comment up top. People are wondering.

  18. Oh and it says they will email out the information on qualifying for early entry as well in the help section!

    "What will happen next?

    Everyone who submits their email address will be sent a notification when registration for Pottermore is open to all. In addition, to learn how you might qualify for early entry come back to on 31st July."

    So excited about the clues, haven't gotten to register yet. Although, if it is of any interest ...

    In her video, when she says "follow the owl" and the owl shadow flies across the page, it switches scenes at "He set off, drawing the invisibility cloak tight around him as he walked."

    From Harry Potter The Sorcerer's Stone, pg 164, about going to the restricted section in the library.

  19. whoops, re read that - it still says "come back"

  20. Wow, Shannon! What a great catch! Thank you so much for sharing. Sounds like follow the owl might include looking through our library of Harry Potter books, doesn't it?

  21. Guys, I've been called to mom's taxi service. Please keep the conversation going and I'll catch up when I return.

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Thanks!! These are the kind of clues I am hoping for, finding things in her text! :) Thanks for this website, I have been watching it for days, finally plucked up the courage to post when I found the "help" section.

  24. I can't get on :(

  25. So glad you plucked up the courage, Shannon!

  26. I've updated again with two videos from the press conference and an interview with BBC.

  27. YES. It finally let me register!!

  28. The site is functional guys. those who missed out after the announcement can register now !

  29. Thanks Kim and Ameya for updating us!

    Also, I posted a new article on today's experience.

  30. Two big things!
    First, if you right click on the website (or click with two fingers on a Mac trackpad), one of the options is to view the background image. There are 3 owls outside the middle window and two outside the windown on the left. There is also a purple banner and a gold banner.
    Second, pause the video on, click the title and it will take you to Youtube. Again, this is not a real Youtube video because you can't view the page source, whereas you usually can on a Youtube page. Here's the thing: the views aren't changing from 65,719.
    Let me know what you make of that!

  31. Looking at the background image in Photoshop now, there is any readable text on the banners, nor are there animals or anything seemingly important embroidered on them, but I'll keep playing with it.

  32. From the Hogwarts wiki page (source is a quote from JKR): "Names are written down by a magical quill in the Quill Room somewhere in the school at a magical child's birth."
    Note that the owl on is sitting on top of a large book, which is next to a rather lot of Hogwarts letters...

  33. ^^Sorry, *there isn't any readable text on the banners.

  34. Ragmar -- what great sleuthing! I hadn't thought to look that deeply at the background image, and I think you're exactly right. The invitation on the desk and the owls at the window and from the prior YouTube flash are all probably to invite the readers to the online Hogwarts. So cool!

    I think it IS worth noting, as we mentioned before, that in just viewing the background image, you can see clearly that there are no quills in or near the inkpot, and we did have three loose quills on the prior YouTube Flash.

    Still may be something to that.

    Thanks for sharing all this detail. I'll probably put a post together over the weekend when we know a little more and put your observations up with it. :-)

  35. from where did u get those pottermore images??

  36. Anonymous, those screen caps of Pottermore were released when the website first opened for people to submit their e-mails, back in June. They were actually loaded onto the Pottermore site in a page for the press, but were then quickly taken down. :-)