Accio publishing deal!

By Maureen Lee Lenker
October 24, 2017 at 06:55 PM EDT

The tale of J.K. Rowling’s attempts to find a publisher for the Harry Potter books is an oft-told and inspiring story of eventual triumph over rejection for anyone feeling disheartened or hopeless.

Rowling was turned down by 12 different publishing houses before British independent publisher Bloomsbury took a chance on her and the boy who lived.

Now the original synopsis that Rowling sent to all those publishers back in 1995 is on display at the British Library as part of its “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibition, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The placard under the synopsis in the exhibit explains that the pitch was circulated to prospective publishers alongside the first few chapters of the book. Only the first page is visible in the display, and it begins with an introduction to Harry, the Dursleys, Hagrid, Ron, Hermione, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


It reads:

The details are familiar to any fan of the series, and it’s hard to imagine reading this today that any publisher wouldn’t jump at the chance to secure the rights to the manuscript. We’re willing to bet some of those publishers wish they had a time turner to go back and scoop this pitch up when they had the chance. And we salute Bloomsbury for bringing Rowling and her work to the world.

Business Insider first reported the news.

Episode Recaps

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book)

  • Book
  • J.K. Rowling