Frequently Asked Questions

For the curious, here’s a little bit more information about the Companion.

Who are you?

My name is Josie Kearns, and I’m just a big fan of Harry Potter. Rowling used to say that her biggest fans were “obsessives,” and that was definitely me. I was an editor at the Harry Potter Lexicon from 2005-2008, until events I couldn’t control sucked the fun out of it for me and I decided to start my own project instead. I started working on this site in November 2007; it first went live with five chapters posted in February 2009; and I completed the initial project (the chapter-by-chapter pages) in June 2011.

How do you know so much about Harry Potter?

I’ve actually only read the books cover-to-cover a handful of times; more of my knowledge comes from looking up references, having conversations about the books, and just having a knack for making connections. I also once indexed the entirety of the series (back when there were just five books), and I’ve done lots of things like write trivia contests and cross-check encyclopedias to ensure all the necessary entries are included.

How did you find all of the artists?

Lots and lots of searching. The first four months I worked on this project, all I did was collect art. My iPhoto library cracked 2,000 Harry Potter images long before anyone but me knew about the site, and all but a handful are canon-based (that is, scenes direct from the books). I’m up to 4,100 now, with permission to use work from over 100 different artists, and still climbing. Incidentally, every single drawing on the site was reprinted with the exclusive permission of the artist who created it and cannot be reused without their permission.

How do you decide what artwork to include on the HPC?

I spent a long time debating how I would select art for the Companion. Ultimately, I decided that the only way I could create a site with a coherent vision – as well as one that I would truly enjoy working on – would be if the vision were exclusively my own. I don’t pretend to have credentials that qualify me to judge what artwork is ‘good;’ I simply take art that fits what I see when I read the books. This ends up meaning that only a very small percentage of the art I consider – around 2% is my best estimate – ends up on the site.

I realize that my method is entirely subjective. I also realize that some of the artists and pieces I’ve chosen not to include are wonderful (some of my personal favorites actually didn’t make the cut). So I hope nobody thinks I’m judging their work by not including it – I’m merely saying it doesn’t fit the feel of the site I’m trying to create.

What about the banner artwork?

When I was posting the original chapter-by-chapter pages, the banner artwork changed along with the chapters I was posting. In all I used twenty-four different drawings by twenty-one different artists. Since the project was completed the images have rotated at random. More information about the drawings – and when they were originally posted – can be found here.

Are you still looking for more art?

Sure – if you have some (or know of some), I’d love to see it! I can’t promise I’ll use everything that I’m sent, of course; as I say above, it has to fit my vision of the books (and depending on the scene, I may already have lots of other drawings!). But it can’t hurt to send me an e-mail, right?

Why don’t you update more often?

When I first started this site I had lots of spare time, and posted a new chapter every two or three days. I’ve since become a mother, started an intense job, and generally shifted my life focus in other directions. I still check in from time to time to ensure things are flowing smoothly, and I still have some updates in mind that I may return and make one day (particularly more character portraits and a couple more essays). But I’m no longer in a position to promise them. If you’re interested in staying in touch, I recommend following on an RSS feed, Twitter, or Facebook (links are in the right-hand column), and you’ll know when the site is updated again.

Why are comments closed?

Comments were once open on every page of the site, and over 10,000 were posted in all. As the pages have aged, however, the conversation has become more sparse and newer comments have added fewer new ideas. Coupled with my lack of time to moderate them, this led me to decide to close old pages to new comments. New posts and pages still have comments open; these will be approved and edited solely at my discretion.

You quote a lot of direct text from the books. Won’t J.K. Rowling hate you?

I don’t believe so. In terms of copyright I’m not breaking any new ground, as my format was partially inspired by a number of predecessors, including Makani’s Project HBP; Marta T’s website, with her loads of canon art; The Harry Potter Lexicon’s Reader’s Guides, and Tealin Raintree’s Azkaban Project. All have been around for some time, and one has been endorsed by Rowling. My site is also freely available to anyone who wants to read it, which Rowling has said in the past is important to her.

That said, if I ever hear from Rowling or Warner Brothers that part of my site is unsatisfactory to them for any reason, I will of course make immediate adjustments. And I’m certainly not going to be publishing any of it.

How do I get in touch with you?

You can e-mail me at hpcjosie@gmail.com.


32 Responses to “Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. Very cool site!

  2. Hello, i want to know if you could create a pdf or something to download of these beauty work for reading offline. i apreciate it a lot. Thanks.

  3. Hi Alex – thanks for you comment. The short answer to your question is… no, at least not right now. I might look into a way to do this down the road (I’d like to have the pages permanently saved anyway) but I just don’t have time to figure it out right now, I’m afraid. Does anybody else know an easy way to make this happen?

  4. Hi. Really enjoy your website and look forward to the rest of the books. Concerning pdf’s, I found a site where you enter the web address of the page you want converted and then you download the converted file. I’ve tried it a few times and it seems to work ok.

  5. Sorry, forgot to list the website for pdf conversion!

    http://www.htm2pdf.co.uk

  6. Hi glen- that’s great, thanks for the link. I actually looked into PDF’ing pages (a couple of different people asked about it) and even though I can do it easily on my Mac, I decided against it, mainly because the pages aren’t staying the same once they’re posted – I’m constantly editing, adding drawings, etc. – and I decided it would be too much to keep up with. However, this is a great resource for anyone who wants to create a PDF from a page themselves so they can take it with them, and then discard it later. So I appreciate the help!

  7. Fantastic site! I made my way here by way of a Pottercast shout-out, and I’m very glad I did. I may or may not be skiving off work as we speak to spend the day here :D (I’ve had a bad week and could use the unadulterated joy that comes from Harry Potter world). Keep it coming! If each chapter page contains 50 illustrations I will view and linger on every one; they are too special not to.
    So glad I found this site,
    Woad_is_me [SlytherClaw]

  8. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LAST TWO BOOKS?

  9. Wendy, I’m posting the chapters one at a time, and still working on them. I’m about eight chapters into book five at the moment, but I’m posting a new one every 2-3 days. You can view recent updates on this page:
    http://hpcompanion.com/updates

    Or there are several other ways to follow if you want to get the updates yourself, which are listed here:
    http://hpcompanion.com/follow

    Thanks for reading!

  10. Thanks. I appreciate it. The art is gorgeous and I love the comments on each chapter. Sorry for the all caps.

  11. Just have to say that I enjoy this site a lot. You wake thoughts about my favorite book series that I’ve never been thinking before. Amazing job and a great site.
    I’m looking forward to see new posts. :)

  12. I’ve read the series twice. The next time, I think I will follow along with the HP Companion. That way, I will definitely remember the points that are most important in each chapter.

  13. I stumbled upon this site when I was just getting into HP for the first time during the past few months. I finished the series on audiobook during my drives to and from work because I don’t really have time to sit down and read. Stephen Fry (who reads the books) is a riot! I love your site and now I finally understand all of the HP hype among my friends. It would be awesome to follow your chapter analyses when I go through HP a second time. There are SO many things I missed! Love the art! Thank you for this wonderful website. I can spend hours here. LOL.

  14. Hi Josie, I thought this might be a good place to ask:
    I very much enjoy reading your about the chapter sections and also cherish all the comments made by the fans. Since I have joined, I have twice gone through all the chapters on this site again to check if there were any comments I hadn’t read yet. Since there are still new fans coming to this site all the time of course there have been new comments. It’s quite a handful to go through all the pages, so I was wondering if there was a way to let us know when and where a new comment was added on, say, the books you’re not currently posting about.

  15. Kim – if you look underneath the box where you type comments, there’s a little checkbox along the lines of “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” (I can’t see them when I’m logged in because I’m the author). But if you check that box whenever you leave a comment, you’ll be notified when someone else comments on the same post.

    I know there are other folks who do it because I get stats on the number of people who are subscribed, and also posts on older pages tend to come in bunches, so if it doesn’t work for you you might want to just ask for help in one of the comment forums. :)

  16. Josie, thank you, I hadn’t even looked there. I’ll do that from now on. But I guess that means it won’t work for all the pages up until now, unless I post again.

  17. Josie, I absolutely love this site! Is there any way I can get my artwork on here? I’ve emailed one already, but is there another way?

  18. Hi Jamie! I just sent you an e-mail reply, but for anybody else who’s reading: the best way to contact me is via e-mail, at josie@hpcompanion.com. I don’t open e-mail attachments for the sake of my computer, but if you post your art online somewhere, just send me a link. I’d love to see it. I can’t promise I will use it, for all the reasons stated above, but I always love seeing more artwork.

    Thanks!

  19. I found this site recently and I want to say that it’s totally awesome!

  20. I just found this site, but I’ve noticed that you haven’t posted a chapter since May 2010. Is there going to be anymore updating of the site? I won’t worry too much about it until I get through the whole thing, however, at the rate I’m going that’ll be tonight!!! Love this site!

  21. Great site. I like reading the comment conversations after each page which often go off topic but its really difficult to find them again on a later date. Is it possible to add a Google search box or something to make this easier?

  22. Snape_ftw, I’ve actually tried to set up a better search (the one that comes with WordPress really sucks), but unfortunately WordPress prevents me from using a Google script or anything. So the best thing to do is to just do a search through Google, type “site:hpcompanion.com” and then whatever you’re searching for. That way it will only search my site.

    Another option is, when you comment, there’s a little checkbox that says “subscribe to comments” or something like that (it doesn’t show up on my versions of the pages). If you check that, you can get an e-mail any time somebody posts another comment. This might be even more helpful, as we’re well past 5,000 comments site-wide and it’s a lot to search through. :)

    Hope that helps!

  23. I have…an obsession with pictures, and I was actually going to go through the pages again and save every picture, but then I just read you had even MORE! pictures (:O 3800 of them!!). I was wondering if you could compress them and upload them? or just email them to me?

    My Pictures folder is 13.5 gigs and contains about 45,000 files, and it wants more!

  24. keikii, I appreciate your interest, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to politely decline, for a couple of reasons. One is that all the artists on these pages have given me exclusive permission to use their work, and I feel like I would be betraying their trust if I just started e-mailing their drawings around (the idea of someone saving every one of them makes me a bit uncomfortable, too, but obviously that’s a risk I took in compiling the collection). Another reason is that I’ve spent years building up this collection and this website, and I feel like simply giving away all my hard work would be akin to Coca-Cola handing out copies of its secret recipe at the gates.

    I found every image here through a months-long process of simply searching the internet; others are welcome to do the same. Sorry I can’t be more helpful than that.

  25. I’m pretty new to this site, but I love it. All the art, the way it is posted, everything.

    Rock on!

  26. Te felicito!! Me encanta tu sitio! soy una Fan de LatinoAmerica y tu sitio es el mejor… Se lo he recomendado a todos mis amigos… estoy ansiosa de recibir las nuevas actualizaciones.

  27. i love this site. i have recommended it to every other mega fan i have encountered. recently, i stumbled upon another blog about HP and was rather upset to see that his site looked identical to yours.
    i was wondering if you were connected, though i doubt it, and if you’re okay with this.

    http://thelastmuggle.com

  28. Lauren, thanks for the compliments! The other site you found is not related to this one, however they do have just as much right as I do to the template; both sites are made through WordPress.com, and this design is one I selected from a list of free options, not one I did myself. I actually discovered long after my site was up and running that it’s one of the more common templates, so I’ve seen it on several other sites myself (including at least three HP-related). Ah well.

    Thanks for pointing it out though, I appreciate your concern!

  29. This website is truly amazing. I stumbled upon it via Pinterest and began reading the PS Chapter by Chapter. I think it does what Pottermore tried to do: it is an in-depth, interactive re-reading experience. Positively magical. Thank you!

  30. Thanks for helping me pass the days at my boring office job! :-)

  31. I know this is more a site than a blog, but I’ve nominated you anyway for the Liebster Blog Award:
    http://itreallymakesmewonder.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/liebster-award/

  32. Wow, Avra-Sha Faohla, I’m honored – many thanks!

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