Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling poses for photographers during the launch of her new project www.pottermore.com in London.


Associated Press


            Author J.K. Rowling has joined the 21st century on her own  special terms. One of the world’s most famous digital holdouts, Rowling will  sell e-book editions of her iconic  Harry Potter  series exclusively on a new, interactive website.

Tom Turcan, chief operating officer of http://www.pottermore.com, says Rowling wants “to make the books available to everybody, not to make them available only to  people who own a particular set of devices, or tethered to a particular set of  platforms.”

During a press conference in London last week, Rowling cited the special bond  she has had with fans online and said she was “phenomenally lucky in that I have  the resources to do it myself and therefore I got to do it, I think, right.”

E-books have jumped from less than 1 percent of total sales four years ago to  more than 20 percent. Children’s books are catching up as the Kindle, Nook and  other devices become cheaper and touch-screen readers such as the Nook and the  iPad enable illustrated stories to be available in digital form.

Pottermore is far more than a retail outlet. The site lets fans shop for  wands in Diagon Alley, travel to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from  the imaginary Platform 9 3/4 at London’s King’s Cross train station and be  assigned to Hogwarts houses by the Sorting Hat.

The website, which launches with a beta version July 31, also features 18,000  words of new Potter material from Rowling, who said it will have “information I  have been hoarding for years” about the books’ characters and settings. “I go  into ridiculous detail about wand woods.”

The e-books become available in October, with Rowling’s longtime publishers,  Bloomsbury Publishing in the United Kingdom and Scholastic in the United States,  sharing revenues.