Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was sent to a number of publishers initially, all of whom rejected the manuscript. It took a year before her agent, Christopher Little, could make the call that J.K. Rowling had been waiting for.
“Finally, in August 1996, Christopher phoned to tell me that Bloomsbury had made an offer. I could not quite believe my ears. 'You mean it's going to be published?' I asked, rather stupidly. 'It's definitely going to be published?!'
It was Barry Cunningham, an editor at Bloomsbury Publishing, who gave the first chapter of the manuscript to his eight year old daughter. They had both loved the tales of friendship; support; and the fact that children, working together, were able to overcome so many challenges – the adult world may have been against them, but that didn’t hold them back.
“After Christopher had explained Barry’s proposal and I had hung up the phone, I screamed and jumped into the air. Jessica, who was sitting in her high-chair enjoying tea, looked thoroughly scared – but that was all right. You know what happened next…”
Next came the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, in June 1997.