This past Tuesday, Pottermore won the Digital Strategy of the Year Award at The Bookseller Industry Awards. They beat out some tough competition, including Random House, Kobo, Penguin, and even Bloomsbury.
The award was given to the Pottermore team for their “clear strategy to deliver a fully immersive experience” with the Pottermore Shop and its “phenomenal commercial results,” according to The Bookseller website. Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne was at the ceremony to collect the award.
Philip Jones of FutureBook wrote an interesting article about Pottermore’s win and why they deserved it. It is definitely worth a read.
So why Pottermore [than the other candidates]? The important thing is to separate the strategy from the fact that this is the Harry Potter brand. Potter guarantees an audience, it does not secure success.
Pottermore did not win the award simply because it had the Harry Potter brand, it won because of the vision, and because of the execution of that vision. Pottermore could have been a disaster. If you want the background here it is: Pottermore, before its launch, was being written off. The strategy, as stated at its slightly premature announcement, looked overly ambitious, and what we had seen of the site up until the launch point, seemed a touch flakey. On the e-book side, all we really knew was that OverDrive was involved, and even that had some shaking their heads. Few could square the circle on how Pottermore would live up to its promise of making the e-books widely available across all devices from one location.
The Bookseller Industry Awards celebrates the very best of the publishing and book industry, recognizing the successes of everything from retailing to libraries in the publishing world. The Pottermore Team is headed by CEO Charlie Redmayne and CTO Julian Thomas, and includes a number of professionals who help run Pottermore.
Congratulations to the Pottermore team on winning the award! You’ve done an amazing job over the past year and I’m sure you’ll continue to do amazing things.