After Hours

The ever-expanding world of Harry Potter: Pottermore, e-books, set tours

J.K. Rowling's Pottermore site and upcoming Harry Potter stories and encyclopedia are exciting news for wizards and muggles. Her adult novel comes out this fall.

Though the book series is complete and the movies are all available on DVD, the world of Harry Potter (and its fandom) continues to grow. Let's face it, Harry Potter is this youngest generation's Star Wars, and the series has adult fans aplenty as well. A new wave of interest in all things Potter recently washed over the elementary-age children who regularly pommel me with Potter trivia and in-depth discussions of which spell is best for what situation. Luckily, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has not abandoned the completed series, and has many interesting projects launching this year.

Rowling is currently launching a new site for Harry Potter fans. The aptly named Pottermore promises to provide, well...more Potter. The website features interactive ways to practice your magic skills, which young fans will likely love. Even more interesting is that Rowling can't seem to get away from Potter: She is publishing a series of short stories about the world of Harry Potter on the Pottermore website.

(Credit: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET)

You have to register in order to access any of Pottermore's features, including Rowling's new writing. Fair enough, but the registration process makes it clear the site is in partnership with Sony Corporation, and frankly, I have concerns about giving so much personal information (especially for a site geared toward children and adults), including birthday and full name, to something so obviously for marketing purposes. That said, it is fun to be told that you're magical upon registration completion. But don't be in too much of a hurry -- Pottermore is new, and you'll have to wait for your registration confirmation email before you access any of the special site features and Rowling's new short stories.

I'm magical! (Credit: Screenshot by Nicole Bremer Nash for TechRepublic)

While you wait for your confirmation email, you might want to take a look at the Harry Potter series newly released for e-readers. No more lugging around seven tomes; you can download the Harry Potter books to Nook and Kindle through your e-book retailer. One thing is different though: The Harry Potter e-books are only available through the Pottermore shop, so you can complete your purchase from your regular retailer but will actually download from Pottermore, and will have to create a Pottermore shop account. Each e-book retails for $8.00 - $10.00 USD.

(Credit: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET)

If you've already memorized the entire Potter series and are craving more Rowling writing, you will be glad to know that she has even more projects in the works. One is a Harry Potter encyclopedia. There is no publication date yet, as Rowling says the encyclopedia will likely take a long time to create. Once it publishes, she plans to donate the proceeds to charity. Perhaps more exciting is Rowling's new book written for adult readers. The Casual Vacancy will launch on September 27, 2012. Don't worry if you can't make it to wait in line; this book will be available in both hardback and e-reader formats.

The latest Harry Potter news isn't all about books. Warner Brothers Studio in Leavesden, U.K. just opened studio tours of the Harry Potter sets. Tours include views of sets, costumes, props, and animatronics. That should make a special summer holiday for the Potter fan in your life.

For the more athletic Potter fans, the International Quidditch Association (IQA) is growing. Even if there isn't a league near you, an IQA representative can help you set one up. Quidditch is a serious game, and the IQA maintains team rankings, and hosts tournaments, invitationals, and even the Quidditch World Cup. Surely a summer tournament aired on every popular sports channel can't be far off? The 2011 Quidditch World Cup was held in Randall's Island, NY. Plans for the 2012 event are not yet posted.

That's a lot of Potter news for a completed series. If you're a Potter fan, tell us: What Potter news are you most excited about?

Note: CNET, CBS News, and TechRepublic are CBS Interactive properties.

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Nicole Bremer Nash is Director of Content and Social Media for HuTerra, where she uses SEO and social media to promote charitable organizations in their community-building and fundraising efforts. She enjoys volunteering, arts and crafts, and conduct...

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