JK Rowling tweeted some of her rejection letters to encourage new authors

jk rowling new ebooks wizarding world harry potter
S. Bukley/Shutterstock
Around 2012, long after Harry Potter had made her a household name, JK Rowling wanted to have a bash at getting a new novel published “without hype or expectation.”

After writing The Cuckoo’s Calling, she selected the pen name Robert Galbraith before sending the completed manuscript to publishers.

Having received a string of rejections for her Harry Potter book back in the 90s, getting similar responses for this “new” author’s debut crime novel presumably didn’t come as too much of  a surprise to the experienced Rowling.

Eventually the work was picked up by Little, Brown Book Group and published in 2013. Almost as soon as the book hit stores, the Sunday Times newspaper exposed Rowling as the book’s author after using computer software to analyze the writing style.

Over the weekend, the British author decided to tweet two of the rejection letters to her seven million followers in the hope of inspiring budding writers attempting to pen their first masterpiece.


One of the rejections came from publisher Constable & Robinson, which said it “could not publish [her book] with commercial success.”

The letter advises the author to “double check in a helpful bookshop or on Amazon” to get a better idea of publishers that might be interested in the work, and even tells “Galbraith” to look into joining a writers group or course to have the work looked over by other writing enthusiasts.

Another rejection letter, this time from publishing house Creme de la Crime, said simply that it wasn’t accepting new submissions at the moment, a decision that must surely have hurt the company when it discovered the true identity of the writer. However, it must have been even more painful for the unnamed publishing house that Rowling said had rejected not only The Cuckoo’s Calling, but also the first Potter book years earlier.

Asked by a follower how she stayed motivated in the face of rejection from publishers, Rowling tweeted, “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen.”

Another wanted to see some of her Harry Potter rejections, but she said they’re packed away somewhere in the attic.

The experience of writing under a pen name had been an enjoyable one, Rowling said at the time, though the truth about Galbraith’s true identity had come out a bit too soon for her liking.

“I hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” Rowling said, adding, “It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback from publishers and readers under a different name.”

Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.