The story of JK Rowling, the Creator of Harry Potter
How JK Rowling became a millionaire by writing books
In 1994, a young British writer suffered from clinical depression and was thinking of committing suicide. Today she is known for being the author of a famous book series that has sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. How do I do it?
The protagonist of this story is Joanne Rowling, better known as JK Rowling, who was born in Yate, United Kingdom, on July 31, 1965. Since she was a child, she liked to write stories that she used to tell her younger sister. Her great-aunt gave her Jessica Mitford’s autobiography: “Hons and Rebels. ” The author became his heroine and read all his books; that marked the fact of childhood and adolescence closely linked to literature. He studied a double degree in French and Classical Philology at the University of Exeter. Everything else in his life went smoothly until he was 25 years old and his life took an unexpected turn.
The origin of Harry Potter
In June 1990, he took a train trip from Manchester to London. The train suffered an inconvenience and was delayed for 4 hours. At that moment, as a kind of enlightenment, in his own words, the idea of a wizard school came, from a boy who did not know he was a wizard and would lead a normal life without knowing it until he received an invitation from the magic school. . Joanne was very insecure, she believed very little in herself, but that idea excited her, so, upon arriving at her apartment, she immediately began to write it.
That same year, his mother passed away from multiple sclerosis, which he struggled with for 10 years. She was the only person who supported her dream of being a writer. This event had a great impact on Joanne, as she never had the opportunity to tell her about Harry Potter, the exciting project she was working on.
Soon after, Rowling would have the opportunity to be an English teacher in Porto, Portugal. He moved there and lived for three years. In that city, she met Jorge Arantes, with whom she fell in love and with whom she later married in 1992. Shortly after, she became pregnant. His daughter, Jessica Isabel Rowling, who he named after Jessica Mitford, his childhood heroine, was born on July 27, 1993, in Portugal.
Unfortunately, this marriage did not prosper and was over soon after. Her husband was unfaithful and an alcoholic; and Rowling is presumed to have suffered from domestic violence. So, in November of that same year, she left him and, together with her daughter, moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where her sister lived.
In 1994 her husband searched for her in Scotland asking her to return and Rowling had to file a restraining order. In August of that year, he formally filed for divorce.
At that time, he suffered from clinical depression. His despair was such that he came to see suicide as an option, but found in his daughter Jessica the motivation to continue.
Divorced, unemployed, being a single mother, and living on state subsidies, her only hope was to finish the Harry Potter book that she was writing by hand. Her daughter was a small baby and the only way to put her to sleep so she could have time to work on her idea was by taking a walk. This is how he managed to complete his first novel by writing it in various cafes where he would stop to rest every time he made Jessica fall asleep.
Building a fortune writing children’s books
In 1995 he finished his manuscript for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. ” The Christopher Little Literary Agents agency agreed to represent Rowling in her search for a publisher after enthusiastically receiving the first 3 chapters of the novel. The book was rejected by 12 publishers. After a year of searching, a small publisher in London called Bloomsbury approved the publication of the book. Rowling received the good news and an advance of 1,800 dollars, which filled the writer with emotion; however, the publisher recommended that he get a job as they weren’t quite sure that he could earn a lot of money from children’s books.
Just before publishing the novel, they asked him to use a pseudonym with two initials instead of his real name because they feared that younger readers would decide not to buy the book when they saw that it was written by a woman.
Since she has no middle name, she chose to use the letter “K” in honor of her paternal grandmother, Kathleen; This is how her best-known pseudonym came about: JK Rowling. In 1997 he received a $ 9,700 grant from the Scottish Arts Council to continue writing. That year 1,000 copies of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” were published in Europe, of which 500 were distributed in libraries. In the spring of that year, an auction was held for the rights to publish the book in the United States, which was won by the publisher Scholastic inc, for 105 thousand dollars. A figure that for Rowling was a fortune.
Five months after launch, the novel won its first award: the Nestlé Children’s Book Award. Later, it would win the prestigious British Book Award, in the Children’s Book of the Year category; and, later, the Best Children’s Book Award.
Its sequel, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” was released in July 1998. That same year, Scholastic published “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in the United States, and was very well received. This success led to Warner Bros. acquiring the rights to produce films from the first two novels.
In December 1999, the third novel in the series, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” won the award for best children’s book, making Rowling the first person to win the award three times in a row. On July 8, 2000, the fourth installment of the saga was launched simultaneously in the United States and Great Britain. More than 372,000 copies were sold in Britain on the first day, exceeding the annual sales of the previous book. And, in the United States, it sold three million copies in just 48 hours, breaking sales records. Everything seemed like a dream according to JK Rowling, who never imagined that her story would have such an impact.
In 2001 a film version of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is released. It received positive reviews from the trade press, grossed nearly $ 975 million worldwide, and garnered 3 Oscar nominations. This success catapulted the saga so that his novels were known by more people. A total of 8 films were made to adapt the 7 novels written by Rowling, who actively participated in the production of all the films so that they did not conflict with the novels that were going to come out in the future and was in charge of casting the protagonists. These films were a complete success around the world for more than a decade, raising more than 7.7 billion dollars., making it the second highest-grossing film franchise in history, only behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
JK Rowling, one of the most successful writers in the world
Harry Potter became a global trademark worth around $ 15 billion today. The last 4 Harry Potter books broke the record for the fastest-selling books in history. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” sold 9 million copies in 24 hours. And, the last book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” sold 11 million copies on the first day.
Today life smiles on JK Rowling. She is married and has three children. She is dedicated to writing books for children and adults and is a British film producer and screenwriter. She has a fortune of more than $ 650 million and was named by Forbes magazine as the first person to earn $ 1 billion from writing books. It has sold more than 500 million books around the world. She is admired for her philanthropic efforts to combat poverty and social inequality. His foundation, the Volant Charitable Trust, helps children, single-parent families, and multiple sclerosis research.
JK Rowling’s story is truly inspiring. While most people look for all kinds of excuses to put their dreams aside, she found inspiration precisely in the difficulties and challenges she faced. This is how this entrepreneur, who once felt lonely, frustrated, and with no reason to live, became one of the most successful writers in the world.
In JK Rowling’s own words: “Failure is very important. We talk about success all the time, but it is the ability to resist or use failure that often leads to greater success . “