Harry Potter Fans Unveil PotterParties.com, International Database of Midnight Book Release Parties

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A worldwide database gives bookstores and fans of the blockbuster series a meeting point to plan activities related to the release of the sixth Harry Potter Book.

Fans of J.K. Rowling's bestselling Harry Potter series unveiled PotterParties.com today, the ultimate fan resource for listing, finding and planning events celebrating the release of the sixth book in the blockbuster series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

As fans around the world prepare to return to Hogwarts with Harry, Ron, Hermione and their friends, bookstores around the world are planning events to commemorate the publication of this special book. Millions of fans will gather at bookstores to get their copies at the stroke of midnight on July 16, 2005, celebrating with special parties and themed activities.

PotterParties.com allows bookstores to list their midnight Potter parties for free, and gives fans unique access to the locations and details of the Potter Parties near them. It's a bookstore's ultimate promotion, and a fan's ultimate convenience.

"We wanted fans to be able to have all the information about this special night at their fingertips," said B.K. DeLong, the site's technological director. "It's important to fans to be able to celebrate the release of this book as completely as possible."

To that end, Potter Parties has included everything a Potter fan or bookstore needs to throw a great Potter party: a tremendous list of Potter-related activities, recipes and decorations, links to costumes and supplies and much, much more. Fans can discuss the upcoming event at linked forums, while bookstore managers can list every detail about what will be available at their store, putting large chains and independent booksellers on equal footing when attracting potential customers.

Over the two months remaining before the release of the book, the site will be updated with hundreds of party locations, advanced searching techniques listing all the big chain bookstore's information, options to upload pictures and reports from the fans' respective parties, and more.

"To a Harry Potter fan, the night before the release of a book is like New Year's Eve," said Melissa Anelli, editorial director of the site. "This site makes it easy for fans to choose exactly how to celebrate this momentous release, and supplies bookstores and parents with easy and safe ideas on how to make it truly special."

PotterParties.com also marks a very special and unprecedented collaboration of Potter fans. Webmasters from all over the Harry Potter fandom joined forces to make sure fans knew about this special service. The content management system powering the site was built from scratch by Nick Poulden, the programmer for The Leaky Cauldron (http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/) and the Floo Network (http://www.floo-network.org/) team of Web sites (which includes the Leaky Cauldron, the Harry Potter Lexicon, Quick Quotes and the Hogwarts Galleries), and the Cauldron Shop (http://www.thecauldronshop.com/). It was also constructed in association with HPANA (http://www.hpana.com/).

"We were already working to develop a way for fans to find local events at large U.S. bookstore chains through a simple ZIP code search," said Jeff Guillaume of HPANA. "When we heard that all the fan sites were getting together to support PotterParties.com, we immediately began working to roll our technology into the service."

Webmasters from MuggleNet (http://www.mugglenet.com/), the Harry Potter Lexicon (http://www.hp-lexicon.org/), Quick Quotes (http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/), the Hogwarts Galleries (http://www.hogwarts-gallery.org/, The Cauldron Shop), Veritaserum (http://www.veritaserum.com/), Harry Potter Fan Zone (http://www.harrypotterfanzone.com/), DanRadcliffe.com (http://www.danradcliffe.com/) and DanRadcliffe.co.uk (http://www.danradcliffe.co.uk/) are also sponsors of the site. The site is open to additional affiliate relationships with other Potter fan sites.

Four of the participating sites (The Leaky Cauldron, MuggleNet, HPANA and the Harry Potter Lexicon) have been honored with Potter author J.K. Rowling's "Fan Site Award," while representatives from the Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet were recently chosen by the author to travel to Edinburgh to conduct an exclusive interview with her during publication weekend.

To learn more about Potter Parties, visit http://www.potterparties.com/

Potter Parties is the ultimate location for news, information and details about worldwide events, parties and activities surrounding the launch of the sixth book in the blockbuster "Harry Potter" series. The site was conceived and created by the Leaky Cauldron (http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/) and the Floo Network (http://www.floo-network.org/) of Web sites, and constructed in association with HPANA (http://www.hpana.com/), as a rebirth of "Meet Up and Read In" (MUARI.org), which was developed for the release of book five, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

Event listings include information about store openings and closings, games, contests/prizes at each event, the prices of the book in hardback/on cassette/on CD, and other details of interest. The site also includes sections for special themed activities, decorations, recipes, costumes and more.

The goal of Potter Parties is to empower the Harry Potter fan with as much information as possible, to make their July 16, 2005, experience one they will remember forever.

Contacts:

B.K. DeLong

Technological Director, Potter Parties

617-797-2472

Melissa Anelli

Editorial Director, Potter Parties

917-838-1403

Web: http://www.potterparties.com/
E-mail: press@potterparties.com

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