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How Many Times Did Harry Potter Get Rejected? (By Publishers)

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Harry Potter is one of the most popular book series of all time. It oozes magic and continues to captivate new readers each day. It is a very successful book series that has now become an entire franchise. The books are unique, and even if you have not read the books, or seen the films, it is likely you have heard of it before.

While Harry Potter is now a global phenomenon, it was not always this way. Interestingly, the first Harry Potter book was rejected a number of times before it was finally picked up and accepted by a publisher.

Although it is hard to believe that publishers initially rejected Harry Potter, it emphasizes that success does take time and perseverance. Even the most successful books receive rejections, which can be reassuring to know.

In this article, I will be talking you through how many times Harry Potter was rejected by publishers, and how it finally gained the interest it deserved.

What Is Harry Potter?

The vast majority of people have a good understanding of what Harry Potter is. However, if you are unfamiliar with the books, there are seven in the series, and they were written by J.K. Rowling, a British author. 

The plot follows an orphaned boy called Harry Potter. His parents are murdered by Lord Voldemort, an evil wizard. He is left on the doorstep of the Dursleys’ house at the start of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

On his 11th birthday, he receives a letter, inviting him to join Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, much to the distaste of his aunt and uncle. From here, the series follows his adventures at Hogwarts, and his battles with Lord Voldemort.

The story is great, and has captured the imagination of millions of readers. For those who are millennials, this age group grew up with the characters, which is what made Harry Potter so unique and interesting at the time. 

However, while the book series has finished, the story lives on through the films and the new Fantastic Beasts franchise. Harry Potter fever is definitely still prevalent, with Harry Potter Word in Florida, and The Warner Brothers studios in London. 

How Many Times Did Harry Potter Get Rejected (By Publishers)

It is hard to imagine that a franchise and book series as large as Harry Potter was initially rejected, especially when looking at the success of the series as a whole. 

The book came from humble beginnings, and J. K. Rowling initially wrote the story after missing a train to Manchester from King Cross Station in London. The idea grew from here. 

She wrote the synopses in 1995, and when it was sent to publishers it was almost instantly rejected. As any author will know, receiving a rejection is very disappointing, and it can be a major setback for people.

However, J. K. Rowling took this in her stride and refused to let these setbacks affect her. She even stated on Twitter that, “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen”. 

J. K. Rowling wrote up a long synopsis of her idea and the premise of Harry Potter, and submitted this to many publishers. The book idea was rejected a total of 12 times before it was finally accepted. While this may seem like a lot of rejections, in the grand scheme of things this is not a lot. Even so, as an author, these setbacks can be both frustrating and upsetting. 

The publishers rejected the book for a number of different reasons. Allegedly, these included the book being too long, and old-fashioned. In addition to this, they thought that the book was conventional. Those who have read the series will know that it is far from being conventional. 

Who Published Harry Potter? 

The publisher that finally accepted the Harry Potter manuscript was Bloomsbury. They quickly took an interest in the book, and gave it the chance it deserved. From here, it was then published on June 26th 1997. 

As soon as it was published, it quickly gained traction and from here became the success that it is today. All it took was for one publishing house to read her original Harry Potter pitch, and decide that it was worth publishing. 

The Harry Potter series became more successful than anyone originally anticipated, and when the books were adapted into films, this only increased the success and popularity of the books. Interestingly, the book was not an option film producer David Heyman originally took seriously. However, in 1999, he gained the rights to produce the films after reading and enjoying the first novel.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was originally rejected 12 times, before finally being accepted by Bloomsbury. This emphasizes that publishing a book requires drive, perseverance, and patience.

While it is not a pleasant feeling to have your book rejected, better opportunities may be on the horizon. It is reassuring to know that even one of the most popular book series of all time wasn’t accepted instantly. 

Author Community 

If you are an author looking to further the reach and engagement of your book, you should consider trialing Author Community. It is a fantastic text message based service that is free to use and download. When you sign up to the service, you are given your own unique Author Community number. 

This can then be placed in your book, and readers can reach out to you using the service. You can offer your readers insights into the book they would not have known otherwise, and you can also encourage them to leave a positive review of your book.

Engagement and reviews are vital when your book is published, and Author Community is a proven way of increasing both of these. In return, you will also increase your revenue. If you would like to see a demo of this service, you can do so here