Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Harry Potter Fans Pleased with Pottermore Website - and J.K. Rowling

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Harry Potter Fans Pleased with Pottermore Website - and J.K. Rowling

Article excerpt

'We were actually pleased with what it turned out to be,' said one Connecticut teen of the future Pottermore website. Author J.K. Rowling revealed her plans for the Harry Potter fan site Thursday.

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling waved a welcome wand over her fan community Thursday with the announcement of a new website,, the first fan site to be conceptualized and directed by the author herself.

The site will officially launch in October and will be the only place people can get the e-book version of her seven-book series, or the digital audio format. Potter fans worldwide have been rejoicing over the news that Ms. Rowling will infuse the Pottermore site with new details and background information about the Harry Potter universe. But Rowling has affirmed there will be no new novels.

So, as the eighth and final "Harry Potter" film arrives in theaters this July, and any promise of new narratives is "apperated," the question arises: Is this new site little more than a device to keep the Harry Potter money machine alive in the post- sequel era?

"We were very concerned that the site was going to be a bunch of gimmicks," says high school senior Lily Zalon of Fairfield, Conn. She and many other Harry Potter fans arose early Thursday to view online the Rowling announcement from Britain, she says. "We are pretty happy with what it actually turned out to be," she adds. Instead of somewhat cheesy treasure hunts and other such speculation about Pottermore that had been floating in the blogosphere, the new site looks to be a genuine gift to the fan universe, Lily says.

Rowling has promised to contribute her personal notes, as well as flesh out the deeper stories behind everyone from Hogwarts professor Minerva McGonagal to Petunia Dursley and her husband. The site will prelaunch with a million fans onboard July 31 (Harry's birthday). Rowling will engage with this base to shape the final site before the formal launch in October. The most important detail to site watchers? All the new content from Rowling will be free.

"You could call it a cynical move if you didn't really care about Harry Potter," says Amy Shook, a bookkeeper from Fort Pierce, Fla. …

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