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Robert Toy
12-10-2007, 12:20 AM
In 1995, Rowling finished her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on an old manual typewriter. Upon the enthusiastic response of Bryony Evans, a reader who had been asked to review the book’s first three chapters, the Fulham-based Christopher Little Literary Agents agreed to represent Rowling in her quest for a publisher. The book was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected the manuscript. A year later she was finally given the green light (and a Ł1500 advance) by editor Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury, a small British publishing house in London, England. The decision to publish Rowling's book apparently owes much to Alice Newton, the eight-year-old daughter of Bloomsbury’s chairman, who was given the first chapter to review by her father and immediately demanded the next. Although Bloomsbury agreed to publish the book, Cunningham says that he advised Rowling to get a day job, since she had little chance of making money in children’s books. :D

Medievalist
12-10-2007, 12:47 AM
This is fascinatingly similar to the story of how Tolkien got the Hobbit, his first non-scholarly book, published; the son of the publisher read and liked it--and later became one of Tolkein's editors.

veinglory
12-10-2007, 12:48 AM
There's a reasonable chance that if any of those 12 had published it, the book would not have taken off as it did. No way to tell....

triceretops
12-10-2007, 01:21 AM
That's interesting. I'm wondering if this was 12 full reads, and did not include pitches/synopsis or partials. I'm assuming it was 12 fulls, since that is the way agents send out their manuscripts once they recieve a green light. You've still got to ask yourself what happened here? Is subjectivity that diverse that a dozen publishers failed to see the potential in this book? Just goes to show you--man there ain't no damn formula for picking out a great book.

I've also heard that during that year of submissions, the manuscript was revised and polished per comments from the rejecting editors and, hence, when it hit the 13th house it was pretty damn tight and ready to go. Has anybody heard anything to support this analogy?

Tri

scarletpeaches
12-10-2007, 01:25 AM
Maybe those twelve publishers just didn't like the book? It's allowed, you know.

maestrowork
12-10-2007, 01:40 AM
Hindsight is 20/20.

astonwest
12-10-2007, 02:28 AM
Indeed, think of all these agents who are passing on the greatness that is my latest work. They should seriously consider their actions.

:D

Akuma
12-10-2007, 03:42 AM
Speaking of karma. . .

writerterri
12-10-2007, 03:52 AM
Robert! :hooray:Very nice to see you ol'Chap!




I wish I only suffered 12 rejections for one of my ms before it was accepted.

dpaterso
12-10-2007, 04:01 AM
Old story, I think I heard it back in '01 or '02, or whenever the first film came out. Quotation source?

-Derek

Robert Toy
12-10-2007, 04:19 AM
Old story, I think I heard it back in '01 or '02, or whenever the first film came out. Quotation source?

-Derek
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.K._Rowling

Death Wizard
12-10-2007, 04:49 AM
Hindsight is 20/20.

In this case, it's $1-billion/$1-billion.

JoeEkaitis
12-10-2007, 04:55 AM
And Bloomsbury will probably never stop kicking themselves for signing over the USA rights to Scholastic.

Unique
12-10-2007, 06:41 PM
And Bloomsbury will probably never stop kicking themselves for signing over the USA rights to Scholastic.

That strikes me as funny but I'm not sure why. What's the missing link, Joe. I know it's there. ...

aruna
12-10-2007, 07:03 PM
That's interesting. I'm wondering if this was 12 full reads, and did not include pitches/synopsis or partials. I'm assuming it was 12 fulls, since that is the way agents send out their manuscripts once they recieve a green light. You've still got to ask yourself what happened here? Is subjectivity that diverse that a dozen publishers failed to see the potential in this book? Just goes to show you--man there ain't no damn formula for picking out a great book.


Tri

It is certainly subjective. If I'd been an editor I would not have chosen it... I thought it an OK book, but not spectacular. I think there are times when the public is just ready for something, and part of the job of an editor is to gauge the public spirit. This was such a case. if so many rejected it, then it was not an obvious winner.