From The Guardian:
From flying letters to a 4,500 word-discourse on wand woods, early access to JK Rowling’s move into the digital arena, Pottermore, reveals a richly-imagined, elaborately realised behind-the-scenes peek into the world of Harry Potter.
Pottermore does not open to wider use until October, but has already been inundated by Harry Potter fans. There have been more than 22m views of the webpage, peaking at some 50,000 requests per second on 3 August, as readers rushed to become one of the million users chosen to receive early access and a chance to shape the website’s development. The site is free to use – Rowling has said that she wanted to “give back to the Harry Potter readership”, who number in their hundreds of millions worldwide – but it will be the only sales outlet for ebook versions of the seven Potter titles.
Rowling has written reams of new material – 18,000 words at the last count, but still growing – for Pottermore, as well as mining her archives to share notes she made when writing the novels. Nuggets unearthed on an early trawl through the site include the news that Rowling unconsciously based the Dursleys’ gloomy home on Privet Drive on a childhood home of her own in Winterbourne, near Bristol.
The site is currently based on the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with further books in the series to be added in the new year.