Oh, J.K. Rowling, you tease!
After whipping up a frenzy among the legions of Harry Potter fans for the last week with a mysterious Web page called Pottermore.com, the hugely bestselling author announced Thursday on her YouTube channel what the website would be.
But you can't find the portkey just yet, Muggles.
Pottermore.com will combine several of the elements that popped up most often in fan speculation. The site will be the only place to buy the seven Harry Potter novels as e-books — a big deal, since Rowling has been the most notable holdout from the e-book boom. Her books have sold more than 450 million copies in print, so their digital potential is immense. They'll also be available as digital audio downloads on the site.
But that's hardly all. Rowling promised that the free website would offer "a safe, unique online reading experience built around" the books. Speaking over charming video of a book's pages transforming themselves into spiders, an owl and Harry's iconic eyeglasses, Rowling said the site will tell "the same story with a few crucial additions. The most important one is you."
That sound you hear? Potter fans around the world squealing with glee. On July 31, there will be another announcement at Pottermore.com: how a "lucky few" fans can get a chance to help build the site, which will open to everyone in October.
There was one more delight promised by Rowling, something that sounds a lot like the Potterverse encyclopedia she has been talking about for a long time. The site, she said, will have "additional information I've been hoarding for years about the world" of Harry Potter.
For now, Pottermore.com is a placeholder page, but it looks a lot like Rowling's website, where small objects are links to other pages.