J.K. Rowling Shares Rejection Letters From Publishers Who Weren’t Psychic Enough to Realize She Was J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling lights the Empire State Building, NYC for Lumos
J.K. Rowling. Photo: Derek Storm/Corbis

In 2013, J.K. Rowling, fed up with the public pressure of being Britain’s most recognizable author, penned a charming murder mystery called The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym “Robert Galbraith.” A handful of eagle-eyed readers keyed onto Galbraith’s true identity before Rowling was unmasked — for an ex-military man, he seemed to have a suspiciously detailed knowledge of women’s clothing — but among those who did not were the multiple publishers who rejected the book, unaware that they were turning down a golden goose. (Cuckoo’s Calling became a best seller after its true authorship became known.) On Friday morning, Rowling Tweeted out some of Galbraith’s rejection letters as inspiration for her fans, proof that even the very wealthy and successful J.K. Rowling gets knocked down sometimes. “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen,” she wrote. This is a warning to publishers: Accept literally every book pitch you receive, or be filled with a lifetime of regret.

J.K. Rowling Shares Galbraith Rejection Letters