I’ve just read about Pottermore in The Bookseller. It seems JKR has joined the ranks of online self publishers. What does this mean for us ordinary writers?
If you are a bestselling author like JKR and can … “labour for a year in close collaboration with creative developers TH_NK to curate an experience that really takes advantages of the unique properties of the web…” that’s great! After all, it’s a cutthroat publishing world out there, so why give royalties to publishers if you can avoid it. When I am a best selling author, it will be on top of my list of things to do. Meanwhile, however, it’s back to “hauling my manuscript by plonking it onto a website with a bit of frilly window-dressing…”
And to answer the question: what does POTTERMORE mean for us ordinary writers? Absolutely nothing.
J K Rowling’s new Pottermore website has been described as a gamechanger in how bestselling authors deal with their readers, as the press extensively covered the news of the Harry Potter author’s new venture.
The Guardian newspaper carried details of what the site would entail and the fact that it would be the only place selling the Harry Potter novels as digital downloads. Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown made the claim the move was a gamechanger for the industry. He said: “This does feel like a significant moment. If I was a brand author I would be asking my publisher how to get to the online communities that JK Rowling is getting to. It might be a wakeup call to think of a new way of getting to readers.”
The Telegraph’s Olivia Solon said Pottermore represents “a significant landmark for digital publishing” and praised Rowling for the social network element of the site and “not just hauling out her manuscript and plonking it onto a website with a bit of frilly window-dressing from a digital agency.”
She said: “Instead, she has laboured for a year in close collaboration with creative developers TH_NK to curate an experience that really takes advantages of the unique properties of the web.”
However, she added: “Pottermore is still very much a second screen experience which runs separate to the e-book files as opposed to being integrated into an interactive tablet experience.”
The Daily Mail estimated Rowling is likely to “rake in millions” because Pottermore is the only medium selling the Harry Potter e-books.
Rowling told BBC News 18,000 words of new material about characters, places and objects was being released online, rather than in a new book, because she did not have “a new story”.
She told the organisation: “It’s background, and lots of details that didn’t make it into the book. Some of it is new stuff in response to things fans have asked me over the years.”