15 Most Expensive Mistakes Ever Made

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5. Publishers turned down Harry Potter

Publishers turned down Harry Potter

$1.15 billion (in novel sales)

There has to be at least 12 publishers out there that are kicking themselves over the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter franchise, as back when author JK. Rowling was still searching for a publisher for the series, she didn’t get lucky until her 13th try!

The story of the boy who went to wizarding school, now loved by millions, has made J.K $1.15 billion in novel sales, and over $700 million in film rights – but it all started back in 1990 with a single idea the author had on a train. According to Rowling’s agent at the time though, the first book in the series – Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – was turned down by nearly every major publishing house in the UK over a period of 12 months.

Reasons given ranged from the story’s length to the location the book was set in, as it was thought a children’s boarding school might be a setting that was too exclusive to most readers. J.K. finally struck lucky, with Bloomsbury agreeing to take the work on, and the rest, as they say is history. Since the Philosopher’s Stone was released, the Potter franchise has raked in extraordinary sums for Rowling’s publishers Bloomsbury- and we bet they are extremely glad the book got turned down so many times.

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