J.K. Rowling Shares Two Post-Harry Potter Rejection Letters With Fans

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J.K. Rowling is among the premiere, best-selling authors on the entire planet. However, despite her success, the British author still got rejected by publishers after achieving Harry Potter success. And recently she decided to remind her Twitter followers.

Rowling bolstered followers seeking writing advice with a little lesson from her own annals of rejection. She recalled when, years ago — following the success of the Potter series — she sent around manuscripts for her crime novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling.

The twist? Rowling shared it under a pseudonym: Robert Galbraith. And Galbraith got turned down hard by editors, including one who had formerly ripped Harry Potter a new one, according to Rowling.
To spare you the hassle of busting out a magnifying glass, check out the full text of Rowling's rejection letter below:

Dear Robert Galbraith,

Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to consider your novel, which we have looked at with interest. However, I regret that we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we could not publish it with commercial success.

At the risk of ‘teaching my grandmother to suck eggs’, may I respectfully suggest the following:

Double check in a a helpful bookshop, on Amazon or in the twice yearly ‘Buyer’s Guide’ of the Bookseller magazine (order via newsagents, or available in your local reference library) precisely who are the publishers now of your fiction category/genre.

Call the publishers to obtain the name of the relevant editor; it is rarely productive to speak to her/him in person. Nowadays it is perfectly acceptable to approach numerous publishers at once and even several imprints within the same group (imprints tend to be compartmentalised).

Then send to each editor an alluring 200-word blurb (as on book jackets; don’t give away the ending!), the first chapter plus perhaps two others, and an S.A.E.

The covering letter should state as precisely as you can the category/genre of fiction you are submitting - cite successful authors in your genre, especially those published by the particular imprint you are contacting. Again a helpful bookshop may be able to advise you.

Much vital information can be found in The Writer’s Handbook and The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, but remember that details of an imprint’s publishing policy may be out of date, and acquiring a literary agent is even harder than finding a publisher! 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.) May I wish you every success in placing your work elsewhere.

Yours sincerely

[Named removed]

Editorial Department
And the second...

Dear Mr Galbraith,

Thank you for offering us your novel
The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Crème de la Crime is now part of Seven House Publishers. We are unable to accept new submissions at the moment.

I’m sorry to disappoint you. Thank you again for thinking of us.

With all best wishes,

Yours sincerely

[Name removed]

Crème de la Crime


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