Back then, she was Joanne Rowling, a single mother living on welfare in Edinburgh, Scotland, struggling to make ends meet and find a publisher for her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

J.K. Rowling’s journey to becoming one of the world’s most successful authors was anything but easy. Before she found success with the Harry Potter series, she was turned down by 12 publishers.

Rowling began writing the first Harry Potter book in 1990 while she was living in Portugal. She finished the manuscript in 1995 and began submitting it to publishers. She was met with a string of rejections, including one from the publisher Bloomsbury, which famously said that the book was “too long for children” and “too difficult for adults.”

Finally, in 1997, Rowling found a publisher in the small London-based publisher, Arthur A. Levine Books. The publisher was so confident in the book that it decided to print 500 hardcover copies, a huge risk for a small publisher.

The gamble paid off. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was an instant success, selling out its first print run within weeks. The book was quickly followed by five more books in the series, each one selling more copies than the last.

The Harry Potter series has sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 79 languages. The books have spawned a series of blockbuster films, video games, and a theme park.

J.K. Rowling’s success is a testament to her perseverance and determination. Despite being turned down by 12 publishers, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a published author. Today, she is one of the most successful authors in the world and an inspiration to aspiring writers everywhere.