magic has touched a huge audience of all ages all over the world. In
America, there are nearly 80 million books in print, and each title has
been on The New York Times, USA Today, and Wall
Street Journal bestseller lists. The fifth title, Harry Potter
and the Order of the Phoenix, has already broken records with its
first print run of 6.8 million copies and a second print run of an
additional 1.7 million copies, a figure unprecedented for any book.
J. K. Rowling
has won the Hugo Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Whitbread Award for
Best Children's Book, a special commendation for the Anne Spencer
Lindbergh Prize, and a special certificate for being a three-year winner
of the Smarties Prize, as well as many other honors. She has been a
featured guest on "60 Minutes," "The Today Show,"
and "Larry King Live." Rowling has also been named an Officer
of the British Empire.
thought of Harry while riding a train back in 1990. "Harry just
strolled into my head fully formed." She worked on the book for
several years, finding quiet moments while her daughter napped. Several
publishers turned down the finished manuscript before one took interest.
In 1998, Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was published in the United States,
kicking off Harry-mania. Suddenly, kids were reading again, and their
parents wanted to read the same books! The second and third books were
published in the spring and fall of 1999.
On July 8,
2000, the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire became a
major celebration, with bookstore events occurring at midnight
nationwide. The book sold an unprecedented three million copies in the
first 48 hours of release and according to Publishers Weekly is
"the fastest-selling book in history."
enjoys certain rights in respect to all the Harry Potter books and has
exercised its option to create films on all of those that have been
published to date. With over a quarter of a billion books sold, the
books have been translated into 61 languages and distributed in over 200
countries. All five books have appeared on bestseller lists in the
United States, Britain, and around the globe.
Rowling was born in Chipping Sodbury near Bristol, England. After she
graduated from Exeter University, she found work as a secretary, and
later spent time teaching English in Portugal before moving to
Edinburgh, Scotland, with her daughter. She currently resides in
Scotland with her husband and three children.