Harry Potter must be the first name to strike your mind upon hearing the “J.K. Rowling”. Although, J.K. Rowling has written a lot of books, but what paved her way to success was the three characters that she thought of during her delayed journey in London – Harry, Hermione, and Ron. She wasn’t known as J.K. Rowling back then, it was Joanne Kathleen Rowling. In the next six years, she created a magical world of wizards and witches through her pen and published her first book named as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Harry Potter is definitely the best-selling series of all time, but it had more than its fair share of rejections. After finishing her book, J.K. Rowling sent the first three chapters to a publisher, and they got rejected. Then she tried her luck for another one and faced failure. In short, her mailbox got filled with rejections. After getting disapproved by 12 different publishers, editor of Bloomsbury Publishing Company agreed to publish her book in 1997. This happened because his 8-year-old daughter loved it and wanted to read the rest of its chapters. The editor advised J.K. Rowling to get a day job somewhere. He further predicted that she could never earn enough through such childish books.
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Three days after the publishing of the first book in the UK, Scholastic Inc. bid an amount of $105,000 for American publishing rights. It was a big amount for a children’s book at that time. Once Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published (Scholastic Inc. changed the name), J.K. Rowling proved her editor and everyone else wrong who predicted that this book can’t make money for her. Five months later, this book earned its first award for Nestle’ Smarties Book Prize.
The second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was published in July 1998 and again J.K. Rowling won the award for Nestle’ Smarties Book Prize. In October 1998, the film rights of first two books were purchased by Warner Bros. for $1.5 million. In December 1999, J.K. Rowling won the Smarties award third time for her third book of the Harry Potter sequel. Later in January 2000, her third book won the award for Whitbread Children’s Book of the year. Moreover, the second tour of USA proved to be a huge success and the popularity of J.K. Rowling finally dawned upon her.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling’s fourth book, sold 372,775 copies on the first day in the UK and USA. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Her sixth book broke all sale records and sold over 9 million copies within the first twenty-four hours. Her sixth book of the series also won the Best Book of the Year award. And of course, the last book of the series had to break its predecessor’s record since it was the last book of the series and the most anticipated one. On July 21, 2007, 11 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows were sold out within the first twenty-four hours, breaking all the selling records.
From being a jobless single mother living off her unemployment benefits, J.K. Rowling not only became a renowned author but one of the best-selling authors of all times. Harry Potter series has earned more than $400 million and the last movie alone, on the opening weekend, earned over $476 million. J.K Rowling was the first female author to become this famous and hence a billionaire. Looking back, if it wasn’t the Harry Potter series, then what else?