Harry Potter books to be released as e-books exclusively for select schools and libraries!

According to an announcement made on Monday
by OverDrive Inc., a major distributor for both school
and library markets, an agreement between
J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website and OverDrive
has been made, which will allow downloads of the
HP books to be available for
students and library patrons.

The mega-selling series will be available
to more than 18,000 schools and libraries,
in more than 20 languages.

This statement was issued in the original announcement made by OverDrive:

"Through local public library and school catalogs, OverDrive's digital book lending service 
will promote to new and returning readers a popular way to access  the official 
Harry Potter eBooks and digital audiobooks.  

The Harry Potter series has sold over 400 million copies worldwide and is widely credited with immersing an entire generation of young readers into books and reading.  
With this agreement, the seven books in the series will be available in digital formats 
for the first time for lending from public and school libraries.

OverDrive CEO and President Steve Potash said, in response to the news:  
"J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter is a once-a-lifetime phenomenon and has been an extremely significant catalyst for reading and literacy for current and future generations.  We are honoured to bring this beloved storytelling experience digitally to public and school libraries  worldwide."

Supported devices include Sony® Reader, Kindle® (US only), NOOK™, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, BlackBerry®, and Windows® Phone.  In addition to the eBook collection, the complete digital audiobooks will be made available for digital borrowing in the MP3 file format on listening devices such as computers, smartphones and iPod®.

J.K. Rowling announces new book!

J.K. Rowling announced just yesterday that her
next written project, her first non-Harry Potter book,
may be released sometime later this year.

No details on this latest book
have yet been announced.

Apparently in bracing in preparation for this,
the official J.K. Rowling website announced it will
be going off-line in order to be re-designed.

This was the original statement on jkrowling.com:
J.K. Rowling is to publish a new novel for adults.
Further details will be announced later in the year.

J.K. Rowling’s official website is currently being 
refreshed and redesigned, and will be relaunched 
later this Spring.

J.K. Rowling also posted this "tweet" on Twitter.com:
"As you may have heard, I have a new book out later this year. 
Very different to Harry, although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much."

We should expect to hear additional details on this
upcoming book sometime during the summer and/or fall.

Pottermore.com announces it will be officially delayed!

According to a sudden announcement made by
Pottermore.com, the beta testing for Pottermore
will continue for the "immediate future".

This was the reply Pottermore staff gave in response
to the now commonly-asked question of:  
When will Pottermore be available to everyone?

Here is their response:
"We have decided to further extend the beta period 
so that we can improve Pottermore before giving more people access. 
This means the site will not be opening to new users in the immediate future."

This is important because it details that Pottermore
may not be released on time, for the first half of 2012.
In fact, its release may be pushed back to the second half of 2012!

If this is true, as it appears to be, then more details may be revealed soon.
We'll report on this subject as soon as any official details are announced.

Deathly Hallows: Part 2 nominated for Kids Choice Awards!

Although the final Harry Potter film has long since
finished earning money from the theaters and DVDs,
the public is not yet ready to let go of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
will be competing at the 25th annual
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.

Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has been
nominated in these four categories:
Favorite MovieFavorite Book, (The HP book series,)
Favorite Movie Actor for Daniel Radcliffe,
and Favorite Movie Actress for Emma Watson.

The awards will be held live on Saturday, March 31st at 8:00pm EST.

Deathly Hallows: Part 2 wins Special Effx award at the BAFTAs!

It was announced earlier today that the winner of
the BAFTA award for best visual effects was
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two.

This comes as a great comfort to the Harry Potter
production team, after the film had failed to
remain in the running for multiple Oscar awards.

 Several members of the Harry Potter cast
were in attendance when the announcement
was officially made public.

In attendance was Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley),
Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhard), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black),
Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
and John Hurt (Ollivander), who won the award for  
Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema.

Seeing the final Harry Potter film win a major award at the BAFTAs
is a very good sign. Let's just hope the Oscar judges take notice of it.

Dan Radcliffe appears in "Woman in Black" movie, makes money, but disappoints viewers

Marking his first theatrical appearance
since he finished his role as Harry Potter,
Daniel Radcliffe's newest movie,
"The Woman in Black", was just released
in theaters this past Friday, and has so far
made $20.9 million dollars in the U.S. alone.

Unfortunately, although the film has done fairly well financially,
it has received poor reviews online, such as achieving no higher then
a 63% overall viewer rating on rottentomatoes.com

Here are a few of the reviews posted on the Rotten Tomatoes website:

"There's a difference between being scared and being startled ... 
It's too bad that director James Watkins fills The Woman in Black 
with far more of the latter and too little of the former." 

 "A disappointing post-Potter debut from Radcliffe, 
barely breathing in this musty, creaky chiller."

"The repetitive cheap thrills tend to suffocate the more 
intriguing mystery at the core of the story."

On Yahoo Movies, the film got more positive ratings overall,
but some audience members still felt that the film had room for improvement:

"This movie tried so hard to get cheap scares and didn't focus enough on developing a story. 
To be honest, it wasn't scary and it seemed to drag on and on. 
The only real plot progression was from the "letters" he read but other than that, 
it was just a movie filled with every cliche horror film "scare" tactic imaginable." 

"This movie was a good scare. Good acting, great haunted house, excellent storyline, 
and unexpecting twists and turns. Actually, this was my kind of horror movie - 
not a lot of blood and gore but chilling scenes with shocking moments. 

One of the things I enjoyed about this movie was that you thought you had 
certain things figured out, but then another twist is revealed that keeps you guessing 
to what may happen next. The dark gothic setting of the haunted house and local town 
added to the eerieness of the overall movie. We need more like these. Highly recommend."

Although the film has gotten mixed reviews, it is doing well at the box office,
and has indeed gotten many people talking about it online.

Only time will tell how successful this film will end up being.