Although Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has remained mum about her future writing, she has a lot of existing writing on the Potterverse — notebooks full of background information and so on. This week, she launched a new website Pottermore, which will sell digital copies of her Potter books, audio books, and offer all sorts of Muggle-friendly activities:

To be launched on July 31, Harry Potter’s birthday, the site gives users access to roam in Harry’s world, to uncover back stories and other additional material written by Rowling from notes of hers from the time of first writing the stories as well as those written subsequently. “Find your house by answering random questions posed by the sorting hat” and “choose your own wand from Ollivander’s” are just two of the activities. Fans can join in by submitting comments, drawings and other content; “Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site,” Rowling said. When the site goes live, one million of those who have signed up will have the opportunity to join in shaping the final details.

While Potter fans are doubtless thrilled about the chance to find out more about Violeta Stitch, Pollus Black and so on, equally signifiant is Rowling’s decision to become her own publisher for e-books and audiobooks.

This lady is not stupid.


  1. It’s sad that she’s not making her ebooks available through other retail sources, such as bookstores that sell ebooks. I work for a bookstore that handsold the hell out of her first book, before Harry Potter was a phenomenon, and held big midnight parties for several of the books. It’s too bad she’s leaving booksellers completely out of the loop.

  2. I agree. Her books helped the entire industry.

    On the other hand, if I could get around the publishers and still have sales enough to survive on, I would do it also.

  3. This is big news!
    If this becomes a trend among big selling writers (and why wouldn’t that be?) publishing companies are definitely going to have to change their focus.
    Very interesting development.
    Is it the start of a real publishing revolution?

  4. I am not a Harry Potter fan by any means, but I have nothing but admiration for this woman. She seems to have hung onto the rights, licensing out publishing rights here, movie rights there – cutting out middlemen wherever possible.

    Nowadays, creators hold all the power. JM, I think the answer is yes, a real publishing revolution is happening.

  5. It’s the “share you stories with your friends” bit that’s got my eyebrow arching. Rowling has had a … contentious relationship with the fanfiction contingent, to say the least. Having failed to beat them down, is she now trying to corral them? If so, I find it hard to believe that this will end will.

    A prediction, if I may: within eighteen months of launch, the user-generated content portion of Pottermore will be shuttered. I’d lay a silver sickle on it.