As the iconic Harry Potter children’s fiction series celebrates 25 years since the release of the first book, author JK Rowling looks back to when the first book in the series was published in 1997. Rowling remembered took to Twitter to thank its readers while celebrating 25 years since the book launched at a bookstore in Edinburgh on Sunday.
I had absolutely no idea what was about to happen as I stood dumbfounded in this bookstore staring at my name on the back of a published novel. Thank you to all the readers who boarded the Hogwarts Express in 1997 and stayed with Harry until the very end. What a trip it was… ⚡️❤️
—JK Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 26, 2022
The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s School was published by Bloomsbury on June 26, 1997. “25 years ago today I saw Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s School in a bookstore (Waterstones, Prince’s Street, Edinburgh) for the very first time. It was one of the best times of my life,” Rowling wrote on Twitter.
“I had absolutely no idea what was to come as I stood dumbfounded in this bookstore, staring at my name on the back of a published novel,” Rowling said while thanking her publisher, Bloomsbury. “Thank you to all the readers who boarded the Hogwarts Express in 1997 and stayed with Harry until the very end. What a journey it was…” JK Rowling recalled.
In a BBC interview a few years ago, Rowling opened up about her struggles as a first-time author to break into the publishing industry. Rowling spoke of being completely broke when she finished her first book Harry Potter (Philosopher’s Stone) in June 1995. Rowling didn’t have enough money to print several photocopies of her manuscript, so she typed them herself on his typewriter. After an unsuccessful rejection from 12 editors, Barry Cunningham, who ran the children’s literature department at Bloomsbury, took it over.
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was released with an initial print run of 500 copies. To manage her finances, the Scottish Arts Council rewarded Rowling with a scholarship as she wrote the sequel Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Over the years, Rowling has written seven Harry Potter fantasy novels, with a combined sale of over 500 million copies, making it the best-selling book series in history.
The books also spawned two multi-billion movie franchises, the Harry Potter franchise based on the 7 books and its spin-off, the Fantastic Beasts franchise.