Sunday, 31 July 2011

7 books, 7 days, 7 chances

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted the hidden link in our ‘You ask, we answer’ blog post from
19 July, which took you to an interview J.K. Rowling gave in 2000.

In that interview was some interesting information about a Magical Quill, located in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Magical Quill detects the birth of a magical child and writes their name down in a large book. Every year, Professor McGonagall checks the book and sends owls to the children who are turning eleven, to inform them that they have a place at Hogwarts.

Each day for seven days, from 31 July to 6 August, we will be placing a clue on the Pottermore homepage to help you locate The Magical Quill. If you find it, you’ll have the chance to gain early access to Pottermore.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Pottermore at LeakyCon

Last week, we were invited to give a guest presentation at LeakyCon 2011 in Orlando, USA. This gathering of over three thousand Potter fans was a fantastic stage for us to showcase some of the completed areas of Pottermore and – although we started with a few technical gremlins – we really enjoyed being able to reveal the site. It was great to preview some of the functionality, give glimpses of the new J.K. Rowling content, and show behind-the-scenes artwork (such as the early concept sketches for Ollivanders, above) to such an enthusiastic audience.

The whole time was hugely enjoyable for us and we cannot thank everyone at LeakyCon enough; the event was brilliantly organised and great fun. We would also like to thank everyone who took the time to talk to us while we were there; we hope we answered all your questions and, remember, you can find a detailed question and answer list in our previous Insider post.

Image of Pottermore presentation at LeakyCon courtesy of Cheri Root photography for LeakyCon 2011.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

You ask, we answer

Potter fan sites from around the globe helped us with the Pottermore name reveal, and now those same fan sites have been kind enough to tell us what their readers most want to know about the Pottermore experience.

While we can’t give everything away (even though we know you’d like us to!), we’d really love to answer some of your questions …

Will Pottermore be available in multiple languages?
Yes. Initially, Pottermore will be available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. We are aiming to introduce more languages in the future – including Japanese and Korean later this year. You’ll be able to keep track of language availability here on the Insider.

Will Pottermore be free?
Yes, access to Pottermore will be completely free; you won’t have to pay anything to use the site. The Pottermore Shop will have items in it that you’ll be able to buy, but choosing to purchase something – or not – won't affect your progress through the story as the Shop sits outside of the online reading experience.

Can you please explain what you mean by 'online reading experience'? How much will I, as a Pottermore user, be able to affect the story? After all, hasn't Harry's story already been told?
The best way to think of Pottermore is as an interactive, illustrated companion to the books. J.K. Rowling wanted to create a site where her stories could live on and where readers could explore them in a new way. In addition to discovering new material from J.K. Rowling about Harry’s world, you’ll be able to interact with key story Moments (the Sorting Hat sequence, for example) and upload your own comments, thoughts and artwork for all the characters, objects and places that you come across.

So Pottermore isn't a massively multiplayer online role-playing game like World of Warcraft, or a social network game like Farmville?
No. While there will be some simple games you can play (you'll be able to brew potions, for example), Pottermore is very much about the books: being able to experience Harry’s story in a new way and discover all the additional information that J.K. Rowling has written.

Isn't there a House Cup that we compete for by earning points?
Yes, there is. As you progress through the story you'll also be able to earn house points – and once you get to the end of the first book you can carry on earning points to help your house win the House Cup.

Would you say Pottermore is a social network for fans of Harry Potter?
Not really. Pottermore isn’t trying to compete with sites like Facebook or the Harry Potter forums and fan sites that are already out there. Once you’ve signed up to Pottermore you’ll be able to find and invite your Facebook friends (if you're over thirteen) and leave comments in your house common room and the Great Hall, but Pottermore isn't a social networking site where you can share personal information or chat in forums.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Answering your questions (and a gift from us)

We understand that a lot of you want to know more about how Pottermore is going to work and what exciting things will be waiting for you. A couple of weeks ago we asked the Potter fan sites that helped us out with Secret Street View to compile their readers’ top Pottermore-related questions. We’ve spent the past few days sorting through all the responses that came back and we’ll be posting our answers to those questions right here on the Insider.

In the meantime, we've got a gift for you - official Pottermore wallpaper for your desktop, tablet or smartphone. You can download the different versions by clicking on the links below:

Desktop: 800x600 | 1024x768 | 1280x1024 | 1600x1200 | 1680x1050 | 1920x1200
Tablet: 1024x1024
Smartphone: 640x960

We hope you like it, and we’ll see you next week for Pottermore question time.

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Pottermore Insider is here

Welcome to Pottermore’s official blog, the Pottermore Insider.

Written by members of the Pottermore team, the Insider is here to bring you the latest news and updates on all things Pottermore, and to answer any questions you may have.

We’ll be here with you as we get ready for 31 July, and we’ll be posting fairly regularly, so remember to check back every now and then, or add us to your RSS feed so you don’t miss out on anything.

If you're looking for even more Pottermore, you can also follow us on Twitter @Pottermore.

Until next time ...

Photo: The wrapping comes off the Pottermore sign before the filming of Jo's announcement video.
Link: Thanks to Freckles42.