The website announced by J.K. Rowling back in July has yet to come out of beta. That means that only a select group of Harry Potter fans has been able to access Pottermore. When will it ever open to the rest of the public? Who knows.
Back in June, J.K, Rowling went on YouTube to announce the coming of Pottermore which promised to extend the Harry Potter experience even further. The site was going to include new information and also allow fans to purchase the audiobooks and eBooks. A beta was going to start July 31, 2011 and the general public were to be admitted at the end of October. Well we are now into the second month of 2012 and still Pottermore remains closed to the general public.
According to Pottermore Insider one million Potter fans have been able to access the beta. Unfortunately according to the same source, the beta has been extended indefinitely. The site says that they want to continue improving Pottermore before they open it up to the general public. They need to be careful or the general public will no longer care.
The Harry Potter series has been a phenomenal success for its author. It catapulted her from an unknown single mother writing in coffee shops to the 13th wealthiest woman in Britain. A lot of that happened because of the juxtaposition of her books and movies.
Although many of the books had been published by the time the first movie was released, the latter part of the series was still being written. The books got bigger and the movies darker as the series progressed. One year you could buy the book and within the next year or two you could see the movie. The momentum of one carried over to the other. When the last movie was released this past summer, it felt almost like the loss of a good friend and people were eager to sign up for Pottermore in the hopes of continuing the fantasy.
Here we are many months after the site was announced and anticipation has waned. People have moved on to other movie and book series. The children who grew up with Harry Potter have moved on to other fantasy series like The Twilight Saga, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others. The momentum has died. Most people probably haven’t thought of Pottermore in ages.
One million people are getting to enjoy the site, but that is a fraction of the audience that J.K. Rowling could have expected if the site had opened on time. Actually the perfect time for the site to have gone live was back in July when the last movie opened. There would have been a natural bridge from the movie to the online experience and that could have happened with better planning. Timing is everything. It doesn’t take long for a media phenomena to become old news. That’s exactly what has happened to Pottermore.