​J.K. Rowling Rejection Letters Reveal Struggle For Locating Publisher

J.K. Rowling Rejection Letters
Author: Michael StevensBy:
Staff Reporter
Mar. 25, 2016

Two J.K. Rowling rejection letters were shared by the Harry Potter author, received after she wrote her first novel. She was trying to find a publisher for The Cuckoo’s Calling and was immediately shown the door.

Rowling actually pinned the rejection letters to her kitchen wall as a reminder that she would will one find a publisher, according to USA Today. The Cuckoo’s Calling was eventually released in 2013.

Rowling posted the rejections on Twitter, saying she was doing so to encourage other aspiring writers. One of the letters, from publishing house Constable & Robinson, says it “could not publish [The Cuckoo’s Calling] with commercial success.”

The Rowling letters suggest politely that Galbraith “double check in a helpful bookshop” or in the twice yearly “buyer’s guide of Bookseller magazine”, about who the current publishers of his fiction genre are. The letter adds “a writers’ group or writing course may help” Galbraith to get constructive criticism of his debut crime novel.

The second of the J.K. Rowling rejection letters, from Creme de la Crime publishers, explains simply that they have become part of Severn House Publishers and are “unable to accept new submissions at the moment.”

J.K. Rowling responded to a fan’s request for a picture of a rejection letter. The author, who has more than seven million Twitter followers, said “The Potter ones are now in a box in my attic, but I could show you Robert Galbraith’s?”

The Harry Potter author removed the signatures from the J.K. Rowling rejection letters because she said she was posting them “for inspiration, not revenge.” “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen,” she added.

Author Joanne Harris joined the Twitter discussion, joking that she got so many rejections for her 1999 novel Chocolat that she had “made a sculpture” out of them. The novel went on to become hugely successful and was made into a film starring Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was eventually published by Sphere Books, an imprint of Little, Brown & Company. The book sold about 1,500 copies before Rowling’s identity as the author was revealed by the Sunday Times newspaper. It was Rowling’s second novel for adults, having released The Casual Vacancy under her real name in 2012.

The two J.K. Rowling rejection letters arrived before The Harry Potter series of books, which has to date sold more than 400 million copies. The eight film adaptations of the books have been named as the second-highest grossing franchise and film series of all time.

The Rowling letters is a reminder that everyone shares the same experiences in life. In this case, while the two J.K. Rowling rejection letters reveal her early struggles, she has also been named as the first female novelist in the world to become a billionaire.

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