Harry Potter author Rowling announces new 'online reading experience'

Ending a couple weeks of speculation, author J.K. Rowling this morning announced a new "unique online reading experience" in which fans and the author herself participate.

"It's the same story, with a few crucial additions," Rowling said in her video message. "The most important one is you."

Rowling said the site will also be the exclusive place to buy the Harry Potter series on e-books. It will launch in October, but before then, Rowling said, some fans will have a chance to enter the online world early and help shape it in advance.

Immediately after the announcement was made, the pottermore site was so crowded, many people could not access it. For Harry Potter fans, this is the equivalent of winning one of Willy Wonka's golden tickets.

The announcement was made via YouTube on the site, a page that has featured a countdown clock and a growing number of animated great horned and barn owls gathering in a tree since its launch June 16.

Owls, as Harry Potter fans know, carry messages, mail, newspapers and packages.

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