Harry Potter author JK Rowling shares rejection letters from publishers


JK Rowling has published rejection letters where publishing bosses suggest she go on a writing course and pop into a ‘helpful book shop‘ for a novelist’s guide.

The best-selling author was pitching her first novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym when she got the replies from Constable and Robinson and Creme de la Creme publishers.

The Cuckoo’s Calling, a post-war detective novel, went on to be a number one bestseller, and in order to inspire other writers the Harry Potter author has posted the letters on Twitter.


Read the rest at the Daily Mail

This is priceless. Once again this shows that when it comes to the arts there are a lot of so-called “experts” who have more ego than talent.

I once saw a program where a couple of Kindergarten-aged girls were given paints and canvas and told to paint whatever they wanted. They had fun, and made messy, splotchy works of art. They were displayed in a nice gallery, but there was no note of who the artist(s) were. A lot of art “experts” commented on how good, and exquisite the works were, and talked about the technique and what the artist was so obviously conveying. When they were told it was painted by a couple of 5 year-olds in a classroom as an art experiment, some of the art critics melted away, others were clearly upset on being fooled, but one of them was pretty clever. He said, “If they’re not notable, they ought to be. They have a latent talent for the medium.”

The age old adage of “Art is in the eye of the beholder,” is clearly one of the truest statements there are.

2 thoughts on “Harry Potter author JK Rowling shares rejection letters from publishers

  1. 25 March 2016
    Bravo, unmask the lie that publishers know what sells, or how to help an author sell either.
    Publisher rejections are not based on quality of the writing; simply put, they have a formula for potential profit to evaluate a manuscript, hoping one in ten titles will make money. That’s why Rawlings was turned down by a bakers’ dozen of poor publishers. And they lost a golden publishing opportunity: The “last” Harry Potter book sold 5,000 copies a minute (total for world-wide language editions) during the first few weeks after release!
    Most “profitable” editions are lucky to sell a total of 5,000 copies; while the author waits for months to be paid a royalty (after deductions of course). Author’s arise, keep your copyright, publish a short run and reap All the profits if your book is a success. The publishers only promote successful authors, so why waste your time, get on with it, and enjoy the experience of becoming self-published; whether you are a sales success is not as important as being a published title SUCCESS!

    Joseph F. Staszak
    exLibris México

    • Werner says:

      Hi Joseph,

      I’ve been wondering for years now if the trad publisher’s will ever come around and update their 19th century business model and enter the 21st century. Until they figure it out, self-publishers will continue to have unparalleled freedom to control their own destiny.

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