As an educated guess, I will say that today, more books will be sold than in any previous day in history. Last night thousands to millions of fans would have camped out in front of stores like Barnes and Noble to get there eager Muggle hands on the last Harry Potter book ever to be published: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Never in history has any other author been so successful and none so deserving. I did a lot of reading about her for this article and realised she is THE BEST RAGS-TO-RICHES STORY in the history of mankind.
In 1993 J.K. (Joanne) Rowling was living on a welfare grant of £69 (About $100 at the time) a week while calling a mouse-invested loft flat in Edinburgh, Scotland her home. Divorcee and mother of one, she struggled financially, but still persevered with her idea of a book about the life a boy wizard.
Her first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone was seen a big gamble by her American publisher, Scholastic. They took her in in 1997 and their gamble paid off royally!
Today J.K. Rowling is ranked 48th in Forbes Celebrity 100 list 2007 and has a net worth of a cool $1 Billion. Warner Brothers has cashed in on the more than $5 Billion in movie ticket sales the five movies has generated and Mattel has grossed over $300 million in movie paraphernalia.
J.K. Rowling will say goodbye to the successful franchise after “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” has been made into a movie, but the money will never cease to pour in. She has created an intellectual capital empire that is comparable to those created by The Beatles, Queen, Abba, U2 and George Lucas. Paramount Studios has even announced that a Harry Potter theme park will be opened in 2009!
Throughout, those close to her say that her ego has not taken control of her. She remains down-to-earth as a now mother of three. (Kids can do that to you…). The humility mst have been a product of her time spent defending the victims of human right abuses while working at Amnesty International; the job she held before becoming a full-time author.
Let July 21 2007 go down in the history books as J.K. Rowling day and as a great moment in publishing!