JK Rowling inspired by rejection letters

Author JK Rowling.
Author JK Rowling.

As the writer of some of the best-selling books of all time, JK Rowling certainly knows how to enchant readers.

But the Harry Potter author has told how publishers suggested she could benefit from a writing course when she approached them with a novel written under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

She told fans how one publishing house, which rejected her book The Cuckoo's Calling, also sent her a page of advice on what she could do to improve her chances of success.

The book was eventually released in 2013, a year after Miss Rowling's first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, was published under her own name.

Yesterday she posted pictures of rejection letters from two publishers on Twitter, saying: 'I wasn't going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen.'

Publisher Constable and Robinson wrote back to 'Robert Galbraith' saying it 'could not publish The Cuckoo's Calling with commercial success' and suggested looking in a bookshop or the buyer's guide of Bookseller magazine for advice on other publishers.

The letter continued: 'Owing to pressure of submissions, I regret we cannot reply individually or provide constructive criticism (A writers' group/writing course may help with the latter.)' Another publisher Crème de la Crime said it was unable to accept submissions at the time, adding: 'I'm sorry to disappoint you'.

Rowling, 50, reminded her seven million fans that she had a box of rejection letters for Harry Potter, which went on to sell more than 450million copies worldwide.

It is thought that 12 publishers turned down Harry Potter in 1996 before Bloomsbury decided to accept it. Miss Rowling said the same publisher that first rejected Harry Potter had sent the 'rudest' response to The Cuckoo's Calling.

The book was finally accepted by Sphere, the same publisher that had taken on The Casual Vacancy in 2012. It was released in April 2013, selling about 450 copies in Britain and a further 1,000 worldwide before the author's identity was revealed. Sales soared and it climbed from 5,067th on the Amazon book list to top the charts.

Rowling has since published two further novels as Robert Galbraith - The Silkworm and Career of Evil.

Her Robert Galbraith novels follow the investigations of private detective and Afghanistan veteran Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott.

Explaining why she had decided to test her luck as an unknown writer after the success of Harry Potter, Miss Rowling said: 'I had nothing to lose and sometimes that makes you brave enough to try.'

The author said that she had agreed to a fan's request to share her rejection letters 'for inspiration, not revenge'.

She added that other successful writers have experienced rejection, writing: 'I pinned my first rejection letter to my kitchen wall because it gave me something in common with all my fave writers!'

Rowling is reportedly more than $1 billion.

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 27 Oct 2016 12:43:12 Processing Time: 629ms