More (Harry) Pottermore
Hogwarts fans will already be revelling in today’s news that J.K. Rowling is creating new digital content about Harry Potter for distribution through the Potter-commerce platform Pottermore.
Three “short ebooks” will be available starting September 6, and short means about 18 to 20 pages—longish short stories, in old-school publishing terms. The eBooks, of course, are designed to be read on mobile devices, and unlike the recently released playscript, Harry Potter & The Cursed Child, appear to be original works by Rowling.
The marketing smarts of the Pottermore project were widely praised when it launched back in 2011. As The Guardian observed at the time, there was probably some legitimacy in the claim that the billionaire author was giving something back to the fans. After all, she’s hardly scraping the barrel for more royalties, let alone revenue from potential sponsorships.
Nevertheless, a marketer’s mouth must water at the potential of a Harry Potter-esque eCommerce empire. Never mind eBooks—why not create new, original Harry Potter content via Tweets, Snapchats, Instagram Stories, Facebook updates, or even Pinterest pins? Note, I’m not talking about the social channels which exist to promote Harry Potter, like the harrypottermovie Facebook page. I’m talking about new Potter stories told through those channels.
Of course, Pottermore’s focus is selling Hogwarts merchandise, not providing a marketing channel for non-Rowling brands. But think of opportunities based around celebrities who welcome product placement. JasonBourne-more, anyone?