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Variety's Women's Impact Report: J.K. Rowling

Variety's Women's Impact Report: J.K. Rowling

Every year, Variety issues their Women's Impact Report in which they highlight women in the entertainment industry that they think deserve some praise. From industry executives (like United Artists bigwig Paula Wagner) to household names (like Angelina Jolie), the list spotlights some strong, smart, intriguing ladies.

For the next few Wednesdays I'll focus on some of the women who I find particularly noteworthy as well. I've already sung the praises of filmmaker Adrienne Shelly and Tina Fey, and today I'm turning my attention to one of the world's most beloved authors: J.K. Rowling.

Rowling is responsible for bringing Harry Potter into the world, which turned out not only to have a far-reaching effect on readers of all ages, but also proved financially lucrative.

As her Variety profile points out:

J.K. Rowling's ability to astound in the marketplace has become a given. Barnes & Noble reported pre-orders for the new book at 1.2 million in the U.S., the largest in the chain's history. In its first 24 hours on sale, 8.3 million copies were purchased, topping the previous record (also held by Rowling).

The author already had sold more than 325 million books worldwide and is, according to Forbes magazine, one of just five self-made female billionaires — and the first billionaire author.

Getting to this place of success, however, is truly an inspiring story. To find out what I mean,

As a single mother on welfare, Rowling wrote her first novel whenever she could get her small daughter, Jessica, to sleep. She obtained a literary agent in 1995 who sent the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to twelve publishing houses, all of whom rejected it. After a year, a small publisher decided to print a run of 1,000 copies of the book, and then in 1998 Scholastic distributed it in the U.S. with the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. From there, everything started to snowball — what with all the awards and outstanding sales and films. Now, of course, the the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter series has been printed and devoured by obsessed fans everywhere, and Rowling is quite a wealthy lady.

The end of Harry Potter is certainly not the end of J.K. Rowling, however. Rowling told Variety what's next on her agenda: "A thank-you tour in October, where she'll visit schools in New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans; and a new children's book, a 'political fairy story' for readers younger than her usual Harry Potter fans."


Join The Conversation
ms_mags ms_mags 10 years
I'm glad Variety is showcasing women that have chipped away at the glass ceiling. It gives me hope.
rosey_y rosey_y 10 years
She's absolutely brilliant, not just because of all she's achieved with regard to money and recognition but because what she created has brought so much joy to millions of people all over the world. It's also been reported that she gives away *very* large sums of money to various charities, annonymously.
i_love_miu i_love_miu 10 years
She has taken the success and criticism so well, and she's so gracious to all the fans. She has also done so much charity work, she really should be admired.
StormyBliss StormyBliss 10 years
i just read that she wrote the first drafts of HP in cafes in Edinburgh to save money on her heating bill! talk about a rags to riches story. She is an inspiration to all females!
JenBrett JenBrett 10 years
and soon her imagination will be built in to a Universal Theme Island, I can't wait!
lucyS lucyS 10 years
I think it's wonderful that she wrote such an amazing series for young people while also entertaining older people as well. She's a great lady.
catita85 catita85 10 years
she is absolutely brilliant and deserves all her success. The world would be a very sad place without Harry Potter1
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
She certainly is a noteworthy author and role model for young women and men.
smart-blonde smart-blonde 10 years
I want to be J.K. Rowling when I grow up. I always love stories of people who succeed on the strength of their brains.
sugarbecky sugarbecky 10 years
What would the world be without JK & Harry?
shafiii shafiii 10 years
JK Rowling is brilliant. pinkflats is right, the list wouldnt be a list without Rowling.
xo_verity xo_verity 10 years
*I really ADMIRE people like her. (sorry, i missed out a word :P)
xo_verity xo_verity 10 years
Shes such an inspiring woman! I really people like her :)
dmblauren dmblauren 10 years
she's an amazing storyteller
c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
pinkflats pinkflats 10 years
a list of the most influential/powerful women in the world would not be a list without Rowling. what she has done is trully brilliant and inspiring.
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