A beta tester’s early review of Pottermore

Here’s an early take on what it’s like to visit Pottermore, written by a mom who loves the books and who has a daughter who loves them as well. Translation: it’s probably biased and incredibly positive.

“It will satisfy even the most voracious Harry Potter devotee, as well as engage new fans who’ve just discovered the books and/or movies. Even though we are vacationing in Hawaii and the beach beckons, Rachel and I spent hours going through each and every feature on the Web site. I felt almost as if we had somehow been transported inside the pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone itself.”

(The true sign of a book nerd—skipping the beach to stay indoors reading!)

I somehow managed to score an early invitation to Pottermore a couple of weeks ago when the Magic Quill contest was going on, which frankly amazes me because while I enjoyed the books I’m not really a fan. (I lucked out and happened to visit the site the day of the easiest question—the number of contestants in the Tri-Wizard Tournament—and then somehow got through to the registration page.) Sadly, though, I have yet to receive my activation code, because the site is letting us in in small waves over the next several weeks.

So as soon as I can get in, I’ll poke around, take screenshots, and report back. I’m fascinated by Rowling’s approach, because it takes so many of the elements that publishers are experimenting with in enhanced ebooks and places them next to the texts, instead of mixing them together. Series may have a built-in edge over single works of adult fiction, because of the rich and deep world that can develop over several volumes, so maybe this approach isn’t right for every book. But it will be interesting to see what works and what doesn’t, because I’m sure we’ll see plenty of Pottermore clones in the future. Personally, I’d love to see some sci-fi and fantasy authors try their hands at this sort of thing.

“The Magic of Pottermore” [Publishers Weekly]

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