a never-ending spell...
Harry Potter lovers rejoice as Pottermore, the latest website and the official counterpart of the hugely-popular series is set to launch shortly. And what’s more it has the stamp of approval by none other than the reticent author JK Rowling, who has created a fan furor worldwide with her ‘magical’ characters and seven ‘spellbinding’ books.
Pottermore will also be the first place where readers will be able to buy digital versions of the book, new unpublished materials by the author and also have a direct tête-à-tête with Rowling herself. While the fan site has already garnered a host of followers and likes on micro-blogging and networking sites, it is being touted as a marketing wizardry, by many to keep the spirit of the series alive, what with the final part of the last book hitting the big screens in mid-July this year.
City-based author Anita Nair, who recently set-up an Internet group for her book Malabar Maladies on a networking site, says that recreating an online forum for books previously released does help in keeping the written word alive. “An online community helps the author to keep updating fans and readers as and when something comes up,” she says. The author points out that sometimes it becomes impossible to reply individually to fans, who write in on the website. “This can often hurt sentiments of a reader, when an author doesn’t communicate back. However, with an online forum the interaction is quicker and simpler,” she explains.
Though the excitement about Pottermore is catching up quickly, website and brand experts remain cautious with the euphoria over the site. As one of them has pointed out that maintaining an Internet community in the long run could be a challenge after the initial hype of the e-book sales and launch of the site dies down. Potter fan and entrepreneur Somil Mittal, who has keenly followed the books and movies over the years says that though online forums on Harry Potter are common place, it’s the promise of unpublished works of Rowling on the site that would make him sign up. “Reading on small snippets that never got published, or a different line of imagination, when writing the final draft is what I would look for in the site,” he offers.