Thursday, 25 August 2011

Beta testing and Welcome emails

As you know, we’re using the Pottermore Beta period to make sure that Pottermore is the best it can be before it opens to all in October but we’ve noted some important questions cropping up …

Dear Pottermore. I'm taking the time to write this to remind you that I am not a squib. I want my letter now, please.’ [sic]

… I really think you should have sent another owl with my letter ... Errol really isn't up for long flights anymore.’

We know that you’re all checking your inboxes every time we send an update announcing that Welcome emails have gone out.

As you’ll remember from our previous Insider post, we need to start the Beta with a very small number of people in order to properly test Pottermore and collect feedback.

We know that waiting can be frustrating but the good news is that, as the Beta progresses, we’ll be increasing the number of emails we send out at any one time.

‘… Will you at least put up a schedule to let us know when the next batch of Welcome mails come out for us still waiting?

Beta phases are fluid and it’s important to watch and see how a site reacts to increasing amounts of users and activity.

Every time more people are added to Pottermore, we take a pause and look at how the site is responding to see if everything is working as we expect it to and whether we need to make changes before we let more people into Pottermore.

We are planning on giving more people early access over the next week or so and then we will pause sending Welcome emails for a while so that we can see how things are going.

Unfortunately, we can’t create a schedule to share, as we need to respond to what we learn with each group of new users. That’s also why there are gaps between the batches of Welcome emails; it all depends on what we’re learning from those who are currently on the site.

… Is it only when you send a batch out that we have the potential to receive an email? Or are there always emails being sent out?

We always announce on the Insider and @Pottermore when Welcome emails are sent out, but sometimes these can take a while to arrive in your inbox, so you might get yours after the announced time. It’s always best to wait for your email to arrive before you try to log in.

… I've been hearing this rumour that if you haven't received your welcome letter yet and someone who has adds you as a friend on Pottermore, you may get in faster. Is there any evidence that this is true?’[sic]
Chip Davis

We aren’t quite sure where this rumour started but, no, it isn’t true.

What was the point of scrambling for early Pottermore registration if not all of those would get in to the beta? This process is weird.’ [sic]

The Magical Quill campaign identified who would have access to the Beta. Everyone who found the Magical Quill will get the chance to give us their feedback on Pottermore.

… how can I make #PottermoreArt if I haven't seen the site?

We know that many fans have been creating Harry Potter based artwork for years and Pottermore will be another place for them to share this. While you can’t upload videos and music files to Pottermore, you can post original drawings and sketches.

There are also lots of fans out there who aren’t part of the Beta, and fans who are creating songs and videos; we want to give these people a place to show what that they’ve been creating, too.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Pottermore Beta: the latest

On Monday 15 August, we began sending out Welcome emails to a small number of Beta users. These people have been busy exploring the site, leaving comments to tell us when they like something, and making suggestions when they find something they would like us to improve. We’ve learned an awful lot and, as a result, have started making changes to improve the Pottermore experience.

We know that a lot of people are eager to receive their Welcome emails and that it’s difficult to wait but, as we mentioned in our earlier blog post, we’re staggering entry to Pottermore and to start with we’re only letting a small number of people onto the site.

While we can’t tell you exactly when you’ll receive your Welcome email, we will update this blog post to let you know whenever a new batch of Welcome emails has been sent out, so keep visiting the Insider and watching our Twitter feed.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Beta testing (and registering for October)

UPDATE: Please visit Making Pottermore even better for the most up-to-date information about Beta testing and when Pottermore will be open to everyone. For information about site developments and changes (for those in the Beta) please visit the Pottermore site updates page.

We’re excited to announce that early access to Pottermore has begun, so if you’re one of the million people who found The Magical Quill and registered for early access, please read the rest of this Insider post carefully.

The most important thing to know is that we need to stagger entry to the ‘Beta’ (early) version of Pottermore so we can properly collect all the feedback. To begin with, we’ll be inviting a very small number of people onto the website, so you may not receive your Welcome email straight away.

We’ll be sending those Welcome emails out over the coming weeks and, once yours arrives, you’ll be able to log in and start helping us develop the Pottermore experience.

As Pottermore Beta users, you’ll be exploring all the different elements of the site and, hopefully, sharing your thoughts with us along the way. How? By using the ‘Beta feedback’ button. You’ll find it located at the bottom right-hand corner of every page on the site, and this is what it looks like:

It’s important for us to know what you enjoy about the site, what you would like to see improved, and that you tell us about any parts you think aren’t working smoothly.

As well as the ‘Beta feedback’ button on the site itself, we’ll also send each Beta user a survey to complete, asking some detailed questions about the Pottermore website.

All this information will be collated and analysed to help make Pottermore as enjoyable, interesting and easy-to-use as possible.

A note on registering for October

Very soon, we’ll be opening Pottermore registration for October. This means:

- If you have submitted your email address to be notified when registration is open to all, then you’ll be hearing from us soon, and you'll be able to register for entry in October.

- If you asked to be notified when registration was open to all but also registered for Beta, then you may receive two emails from us. You do not have to register for October if you already have a validated early access (Beta) account. In other words, if you received a Beta ‘Congratulations!’ message then you can ignore the ‘Pottermore registration is now open’ email (although do feel free to forward it to your friends!).

We’ll be updating the Insider with all the latest Pottermore news and information, so please continue to visit the blog.

See you soon!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Magical Quill challenge: clues and solutions

As you may have noticed, the Quill is now back in its ink pot. It appeared in a variety of places over the seven days of The Magical Quill challenge and Harry Potter readers from around the world dedicated themselves to finding it.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who joined in and took the time to search for the Quill; we hope you enjoyed spotting the clues and solving them.

If you didn’t manage to find The Magical Quill and register for the Beta, please don’t worry; Pottermore will be open to all in October. However, if you did manage to register for an early access place you will soon receive a ‘selected for early entry’ email.

As we mentioned in our earlier post, we’re staggering access to the Beta site, so you may have to wait a few weeks for your Welcome email to arrive. This second email will let you know that your account has been activated and that you can log in to Pottermore. (Please note that the 'Sign in to Pottermore' link has been temporarily removed from the Pottermore site and that it will return when the first early access accounts are enabled.)

Finally, we thought the curious amongst you might like to know exactly which clues appeared on which days, and what the clue solutions were.

Day 1 Clue
How many breeds of owl are featured on the Eeylops Owl Emporium sign?
Answer: 5
Multiply this number by 49.
Solution: 245

Day 2 Clue
What is the number of the chapter in which Professor McGonagall cancels the Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff?
Answer: 14
Multiply this number by 42.
Solution: 588
(Note: if you read the Day 2 clue in a language other than English you would have been asked to multiply the answer by a different number to ensure you saw the right language page.)

Day 3 Clue
In the Gryffindor versus Slytherin Quidditch match, in Harry’s third year, how many points is Gryffindor leading by before Harry catches the Golden Snitch?
Answer: 60
Multiply this number by 35.
Solution: 2100

Day 4 Clue
How many students take part in the Triwizard Tournament during Harry’s fourth year?
Answer: 4
Multiply this number by 28.
Solution: 112

Day 5 Clue
What is the house number of the Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix in Grimmauld Place?
Answer: 12
Multiply this number by 21.
Solution: 252

Day 6 Clue
How many chapters are there in HARRY POTTER and the Half-Blood Prince? 

Answer: 30
Multiply this number by 14.
Solution: 420

Day 7 Clue
How many Deathly Hallows are there?
Answer: 3
Multiply this number by 7.
Solution: 21

And, yes, all the multipliers were multiples of seven!

We would like to thank all the partners that helped us with The Magical Quill challenge: Sony, Warner Bros.,, Scholastic, and Universal Orlando Resort.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Early access to Pottermore is now closed

Today, The Magical Quill challenge came to an end, which means that there are no more Beta places available.

If you weren’t lucky enough to secure early access to Pottermore, don’t worry; the site will be open to all from October. Keep returning to Pottermore to find out when registration begins and continue to visit the Insider for the latest Pottermore news and updates from the team.

If you did register for early access, then congratulations! Please note that we will not be enabling early access to the site straight away. We will send successful early access registrants a Welcome email, letting them know when they will be able to access Pottermore. We won’t be able to let everyone into the Beta site at the same time, so please be patient with us. You may have to wait a few weeks for your Welcome email to arrive.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Magical Quill registration for Days 1-6 has now closed

Days 1-6 of The Magical Quill challenge are now closed.

If you didn’t get to register today, don’t worry – you’ll have another chance to find The Magical Quill and register for early access tomorrow.

There’s more information about how The Magical Quill challenge works in our 7 books, 7 days, 7 chances blog post and in the Help section of

As there are a limited number of registration places available each day, we expect them to go very quickly. We won’t be announcing the arrival of a new clue on our Twitter account to ensure we don’t give an unfair advantage to Twitter users, but we will let you know, via @Pottermore and the Insider, once the maximum number of registrations for each day has been reached.

We expect a large number of people to try and solve The Magical Quill clues and enter the Pottermore early access registration process. This means that you may have to wait to access the Pottermore site pages. If this happens, please bear with us while we try and direct you to the correct page. If there are any serious access difficulties, we will update this blog with the relevant information.

We will also be varying the time each clue is revealed – as well as the difficulty of the clues – to give as many people as possible a chance to register for early access.

Please note that we will not be enabling early access to the site straight away. Once The Magical Quill challenge is over, we will send successful early access registrants a Welcome email, letting them know when they will be able to access Pottermore. We won’t be able to let everyone into the Beta site at the same time; you may have to wait a few weeks for your Welcome email to arrive

For more information, please visit our Help page.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Magical Quill - some questions answered (updated)

The following post contains some questions that have arisen so far during The Magical Quill challenge. In order to respond quickly, we’ve answered these below, including some existing information, summarised from our Help pages and earlier Insider posts:

I have a friend who wants to use my Pottermore account. Is it okay to share my password?
Your Pottermore account is for your personal use only. You should never divulge your Pottermore password to anyone because it protects your personal information from potential misuse and identity theft. By creating an account on Pottermore, you confirm that you will treat your login details as confidential. If you would like more information, please see our Terms & Conditions.

I haven't received my verification email yet; has there been a delay in sending these out?
Earlier in the week, there was an issue with Yahoo! Mail and some related services, which meant that some validation emails were taking longer than normal to arrive. This issue has now been resolved. However, we have been unable to deliver validation emails to approximately one in ten of the email addresses supplied to us due to them being mistyped. If you have not received a validation email within 48 hours of submitting your details to Pottermore, you should assume that we have been unable to deliver your validation email to you, and you will need to register again.

Please be very careful when entering your email address; don't forget to double-check it before you click ‘Continue’!

So far, all the clues have appeared in the early hours of the morning in my time zone. Will this continue for the remainder of The Magical Quill challenge?
We know that Harry Potter fans around the world are taking part in the challenge, so we will be varying the times that the clues are revealed.

I’ve found The Magical Quill more than once. Am I allowed to create multiple early access Pottermore accounts?
No. You may only register for the early access period once. Please refer to the conditions of participation in The Magical Quill promotion Terms & Conditions.

I have seen people offering to register early access accounts for others. Is it safe to give my personal details to someone who is offering this service?
Absolutely not. You should never share personal details online unless you are certain how they will be used and protected. Also, please note that the transfer of Pottermore accounts is expressly prohibited in The Magical Quill promotion Terms & Conditions.

Is there any update on the Yahoo! Mail issue?
This has now been resolved and everyone who registered with a Yahoo! Mail account on Sunday or Monday should now have received their validation email.

English is not my first language. Can I see the clue in French/Italian/German/Spanish?

I have seen Pottermore early access accounts being sold online on places like eBay. Is it okay to buy or sell Pottermore accounts?
No. Please do not buy, sell, or transfer Pottermore early access accounts. Obtaining Beta registration for Pottermore with the intent of selling on those registration details for monetary gain not only deprives genuine fans the chance to gain early access, it is also expressly prohibited in The Magical Quill promotion Terms & Conditions.

We have the right to terminate any Pottermore accounts that are sold online.

Access to Pottermore is, and always will be, completely free so please don't be tempted by people selling Pottermore accounts online.

I registered for early access yesterday with a Yahoo email address and have yet to receive my verification email. What's happened to my email and will I still be able to verify in time?
There is a delay with verification emails going out via Yahoo! Mail and related providers (such as BT Yahoo!), which means that, while emails are being sent out, they are being delivered at a greatly reduced rate.

We are currently talking to Yahoo in order to resolve this problem and will update this blog post with new information as we get it.

I found The Magical Quill and submitted my details to Pottermore, but I haven’t received a registration validation email. Where is it?
If you entered your email address correctly, you should receive your registration validation email quickly – and almost always within a day. When this arrives, you must click on the link in the email to complete the registration process. If you did enter your address correctly and still haven’t received anything, it may be that your email provider is still processing your email.

What happens if I don’t click on the link in my registration validation email?
To complete your registration you must click on the link in the validation email within 48 hours of submitting your details to the site. If you don’t, your registration will be invalid and you will need to start the registration process again.

Once I’ve clicked on the link in my registration validation email, will I be able to access Pottermore?
We will not be enabling early access to the site straight away. Once The Magical Quill challenge is over we will begin to send Beta registrants Welcome emails as and when they will be able to have full access to the site. We won’t be able to let everyone into the Beta site at the same time, so you may have to wait a number of weeks for your Welcome email to arrive. However, if you have been successful in registering during The Magical Quill challenge, we can confirm you will gain access ahead of the site opening to all in October, so please be patient!

Did some of the translations of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone contain a different answer to the first clue?
Yes, some of the translations only referred to four of the five owl types when describing the Eeylops sign. We are double-checking the consistency of the translations for the remaining clues but, when in doubt, please always refer to the original English versions of J.K. Rowling’s books.

I submitted my email after the site was announced on 23 June. Why haven’t you emailed me yet about The Magical Quill challenge?
Everyone who submitted their email address between 23 June and 31 July will be contacted to let them know when registration opens to all for entry in October. This will be after The Magical Quill challenge has finished. The Magical Quill challenge is to select those will gain early access to the site during the Beta period.