J.K. Rowling is one of the most well-known authors on the planet, and for good reason. She created the Harry Potter book series that spiraled into a whole industry itself, what with the movies made and the amusement parks that span across multiple continents. Her background itself is equally inspiring, as Harry Potter was first rejected by 12 publishing houses before it was accepted. She’s not just defined by her brand either, she’s been vocal on Twitter about her beliefs, and is an activist for various causes.
J.K. Rowling’s Estimated Net Worth As Of 2018: $650 million
See how Rowling created one of the most beloved and recognizable book series in the world.
1965 – 1988
Rowling was born in England and growing up, her headmaster is believed to have been the inspiration behind Albus Dumbledore. In her childhood, she frequently wrote fantasy stories, and excelled in English, which is probably when she developed her talent for this genre.
Rowling took an advanced qualification test in her school years and received high marks, also becoming Head girl, a British term for a school representative. You’ve probably already guessed that she based the character of Hermione Granger after herself.
After graduating from the University of Exeter, Rowling moved to London and became a researcher for Amnesty International.
1988 – 1995
When Rowling was 25, the idea of Harry Potter first came into her mind while she was on a delayed train trip. Following this burst of inspiration, Rowling immediately began writing. While the story was still in progress, Rowling’s mother passed away, and is one of the reasons she was able to write about Harry’s loss of his own parents so vividly.
In the next few years, Harry Potter was still only partly complete, and Rowling went through a marriage, the birth of her first child, and later, divorce. She later obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband. Her experiences after graduating university was followed by a diagnosis of depression and suicide contemplation, which would ultimately inspire the creation of Dementors. After signing up for welfare benefits, she was able to finish the first Harry Potter novel.
1995 – 2003
After ease in obtaining a literary agent, Rowling faced difficulty in an interested publisher. Her book was rejected by 12 companies, but was finally accepted by Bloomsbury, partly because the young daughter of a chairman was so enamored with the first chapter. Rowling, born as Joanne Rowling, was advised to use the pen name J.K. because, you know, the patriarchy. Even though her manuscript was accepted, Rowling was told by the chairman she had a slim chance of gaining success with children’s books. It was this humble beginning that influenced Rowling later in her career.
In 1997, the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published, and won multiple awards in the coming years. An auction was held to publish the novel in the US and Scholastic Inc. won the honor. In 1998, Warner Bros bought the film rights to the first two books and would later distribute the entire film series.
The next two books were published in the following two years. By the time the fourth novel was published, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the series was garnering more and more attention. In both the US and UK, Goblet of Fire broke sales records, with millions being sold in the US.
2003 – 2011
As the last few books of the series were published, Rowling continued to dominate sales records and award competitions. The last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, earned the status as the fastest-selling book of all time.
The films were also generating mass success, and Rowling made sure that they stayed authentic to her vision. While Warner Bros. is an American company, she requested that the entire cast be British and that all films would be shot in the United Kingdom. In all films, she reviewed the scripts and served as producer on the last film of the series.
In 2004, Rowling was named by Forbes as the first person of her time to become a billionaire, of USD, through novels.
Currently, the Harry Potter brand is worth an alleged $15 billion USD and the book series is estimated to have been translated into 65 languages, having sold more than 450 million copies around the globe.
2011 – 2016
Dia de Islands of Adventures aqui em Orlando, um parque da Universal muito legal. Uma das áreas que mais fazem sucesso é Hogsmeade, cidade dos livros de Harry Potter. Nesse local você pode pegar um trem para ir ao Universal Studios (o outro parque da Universal) onde também foi inaugurada uma área de Harry Potter. Para usar o trem você deverá ter um ingresso que permita a entrada em 2 parques da Universal no mesmo dia, conhecido como "park to park". Foto: Camille Panzera #MDemOrlando
In 2013, Harry Potter fans found out the film franchise wasn’t completely over with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was based on the 2001 novel set in the HP universe, and while it didn’t have any actors from the previous novels, it continued the series. There are set to be four more films, with the next set for release in 2018.
In 2011, Rowling wrote a new novel, geared towards adults, titled The Casual Vacancy. It turned into a TV miniseries that was released in 2015. In the following years, she wrote several more books under the pseudonym, Robert Galbraith.
Even though the original Harry Potter film and book series have ended, the brand is very much still alive. In Britain, a Platform 9(3/4) is now a popular tourist spot, the Pottermore site has an active community, while the Wizarding World of Harry Potter amusement park was built in Florida, California, and Osaka. In 2016, the eighth story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, became a stage play, officially premiering in London in 2016.
2016 – Present
Rowling is also known for giving back to communities, and has actively supported children’s organizations, multiple sclerosis research, and organizations promoting literacy among prison inmates. Over the years, she’s allegedly donated over $150 million to various charities, according to Forbes.
If you’re ever missing reading her work, just check out her Twitter page, where you can see all her daily clapbacks.
J.K. Rowling’s ‘Quidditch Through the Ages’ is to be released in audiobook format from the collaboration of Pottermore and Audible.