A Look into JK Rowling’s Fairytale
Success, From Rags To Riches

JK Rowling's books sold 400 million copies with sales reaching up to the skies. She’s Britain’s most celebrated author and best seller in history. She wouldn’t be called the “Most Influential Woman of the Year” if she hadn’t won the hearts of many people worldwide. Her name is Joanne “Jo” Rowling or best known to her fans as the JK Rowling.

jk rowling
Photo by Daniel Ogren / CC BY

Her story would jump out of the pages of her own books – a fairytale of a struggling author and single parent living on state benefits until she became a billionaire author all within 5 years. Her life would never be the same because of the magic of her own words. J.K. Rowling’s story is an extraordinary tale of a woman with a talent for words and a destiny most people would read only in books.

Rowling’s Notable Past 

JK Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England in 1976 to a Rolls Royce aircraft engineer father and a working class mother. Jo, as she was fondly called, grew up to a simple life playing with her sister Diane. She was a rambunctious little girl who was a know-it-all of sorts. Even as a young girl, she was already blessed with a vivid imagination where she wrote stories of rabbits, bees, imaginary places and the warmth of friends. Her sister would be the sole audience and she would be the story teller and writer.

Later on, she had experienced a particularly unhappy teenage life because of her sick mother and a particularly difficult father who made the family move many times that resulted in her losing many friends. Her only escape was her education where she would be fond of an author that taught her how to be bold and a great aunt who tolerated no less than an upright education.

A Billion Dollar Idea On A Train Trip

Writing since the age of six, she had been silently compiling her work but had set them aside to focus on a college degree and an important secretarial job at Amnesty International.

While on a long train trip back to London, the idea of a boy wizard named Harry Potter and his friends came to her. And from then on, the idea started a life changing journey of a virtually unknown author to a billionaire in less time that it took for most authors in the world. 

Rejected By A Dozen Publishing Houses

Her fame and fortune began with a simple Harry Potter manuscript rejected by 12 publishing houses at first submission. Her break came when a she received a meager £1,500 advance from Bloomsbury, a publishing house who didn’t see much chance for the author to make it big children’s books. But thanks to the power of a £8,000 grant from the Scottish Arts Council, she would continue to write the Harry Potter series where Bloomsbury finally published 1,000 copies of each book.

The Only Billionaire Author In The World

The series of books known as “The Harry Potter Books” would cement her fortune as the best-selling author with sales of £238 million. Today, J.K. Rowling’s net worth would be a staggering $1 billion and the first author in the world to have ever reached that feat. She’s also one of the richest and most influential private citizen in the entire United Kingdom. 

Rowling would then win various important writer’s awards and accolades and eventually would go on producing movies which turned her from multi-millionaire to a billionaire. She would be the author to beat today.  

Lessons From JK Rowling

  • Do what you love to do and money will eventually come
  • Don’t be afraid of rejections. Successful people are often rejected many times before the achieve their dreams.
  • Have an idea that can contribute to the happiness and enjoyment of children. This is one of the biggest money making areas in our modern world.

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"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

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