JK Rowling had Harry Potter fans once again in the palm of her greedy hand – gripping their plush Hedwig toys and revising their spells in the shear anticipation for a huge announcement from the author regarding her make-believe world of wizardry. They got the news they were waiting for today with the revelation of “Pottermore” – an online social experience with original content and “HP” character backstories – it’s Facebook for Pot-heads!
“I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years.” says the writer – whose saga of adolescent abracadabra spanning books and series of Warner Bros. movies is now said to be worth over £7-billion. She’s obviously not in this one for the money (..your writer snickers).
Claiming it’s all about getting kids reading and making the magic happen away from the films, Rowling goes on, as she often does, “Pottermore is a way for the creativity to live on and a way for me to be creative on a platform that did not exist when I started writing the books”.
The “Pottermore” experience will be free to use, and will bring “safe” social elements, such as chat, games, and sharing of reading lists and favourites. The author suggests in the video announcement that the reader will become part of the creative process in an expanded Harry Potter universe. Once registered you’ll get all that and more, also the opportunity to… (wait for it…) …”purchase” exclusive eBooks and audio books!
The Potter films are undoubtedly enjoyable to watch and some of the books are a good read, but borrowing the social network flavour for another assault on marketing the front – unsurprisingly as the movie franchise is coming to a close with Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – it just seems a little shameless.
“Pottermore” will be hosted by Sony’s network. We have to wonder if the correct defensive spells are in place to protect the Chamber of Secrets from hackers..