"No author could have asked for a more wonderful, diverse and loyal readership," Rowling told fans in a video clip posted on the "Pottermore" site.
"I'm thrilled to say I'm now in the position to give you something unique -- an online reading experience unlike any other," she added. "It's called 'Pottermore.' It's the same story with a few crucial additions -- the most important one is you. Just as reading requires that the imaginations of the author and readers work together to create the story, so 'Pottermore' will be built in part by you, the reader. The digital generation will be able to enjoy a safe, unique, online reading experience built around the Harry Potter books. 'Pottermore' will be the place where fans of any age can share, participate in and re-discover the stories."
The Web site, which is being established with Sony, is set to go live July 31 for registration but will not be fully operational until October. It will also be the exclusive seller of Harry Potter eBooks and digital audio books, Rowling said.
"On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience," a news release announcing the project said. "As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, and cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup."
"Sony's association with J.K. Rowling's 'Pottermore' brings together one of the world's most innovative brands with the most successful book series in history, in a pioneering partnership that will help shape the future of story-telling," Howard Stringer, chairman and chief executive officer and president of Sony Corp., said in a statement.