August 5, 2011

I decided it was time I started blogging about my passion for fantasy literature and shared my views on some of the books I’ve been reading, movies I’ve seen and TV shows I’ve watched.

Along with many Harry Potter fans, I’d been intrigued by J.K. Rowling’s announcement of the Pottermore website.  Promoted as an "online Harry Potter experience," few details were released.  Clearly though, it is a vehicle for Rowling to market the Harry Potter ebooks.  JKR shrewdly retained the ebook rights for herself.  Hey, I’m a Kindle and ebook lover, so that’s all good with me.  If, in addition I get to be Sorted into a Hogwarts House (am I the only person who’d be content to be Sorted into Hufflepuff?) and choose my wand, I’m sold.  

Additionally, it appears JKR will be contributing a significant amount of new Harry Potter content via Pottermore.  She’s talked for some time about publishing a Harry Potter encyclopaedia.  It would appear that she has chosen to publish this online rather than in the traditional format.  More Potter content?  Bring it on, I say.  

Anyway…. Pottermore is due to go live in October, but "a select few" – one million Harry fans – will be granted beta access. Seven books, seven days, seven chances.  In order to win one of these coveted beta places, Potterites must answer a question on the Pottermore website, leading to another website (yes Sony and Warner Bros, we know you’re sponsoring Pottermore…) where they can then catch the Magical Quill.  This will then allow them to register for the beta site.  For those unaware, in Rowling’s world the Magical Quill records the birth of each magical child in a large book.  

The challenge all sounds fairly easy doesn’t it?  The snag?  The clue only appears for a short period each day. You snooze, you lose.  Fortunately on Wednesday I was able to be on the site at the time the clue was posted – honestly, boss, I was working, really, truly – and i am now registered as a beta user of the Pottermore site.  Look me up under ShadowGold157 if you ever get access.  To be honest, I have the impression that anyone who REALLY wanted to be in the beta program would have succeeded, especially if they followed the Pottermore Insider and/or watched Twitter for the #Pottermore hashtag.  (OK, yes, I freely admit it; I’m a geek.)

As I write this, the last clue is on the Pottermore website and those registered for the beta program can expect an owl (OK, email) to be heading their way in the coming weeks informing them their access to Pottermore is now granted.  Pottermore has made it clear that not everyone will be granted access straightaway and if you wished to view Pottermore in a language other than English your beta registration does not guarantee you access before October.  My own theory is, that there are seven days in the Magical Quill challenge, and approximately seven weeks between now and general release of Pottermore.  I suspect it will be a case of those who found the quill on day one will have access in the next few days, those from day two in a week or so.  Based on that, I am not anticipating that I will gain access before early September. 

One burning question occurs to me as I await my access.  Can Pottermore, even backed as it is by JKR’s billions, handle ebook sales as efficiently as Amazon?  Pottermore is the only place to buy official Harry Potter ebooks.  One of the reasons I chose a Kindle over say a Kobo was the confidence I have in the Amazon brand.  I know that should my ebook file become corrupt I can easily redownload it from Amazon.  Likewise if I have any problems I know I can call Kindle Customer Service and the issue will be resolved in a timely, professional, no-fuss manner.  I am slightly anxious about trusting my custom to Pottermore.  Only time will tell.  

For those of you who have also got beta access, I look forward to seeing you on Pottermore, and I will certainly be blogging my experiences.

Currently reading: Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott
Currently watching: Battlestar Galactica: Season 1

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