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J. K. Rowling: Real Job

After purchasing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (for $1,910) in 1996, Bloomsbury Books editor Barry Cunningham gave J. K. Rowling a word of advice. "You'll never make any money out of children's books, Jo," he said. "Keep your real job."

[The Harry Potter series made Rowling the wealthiest author of children's books in history. (By 2004, she was worth nearly $500 million dollars.) Her "real job" at the time? She didn't have one. In fact Rowling, who was living on welfare, was so poor at the time that, after finishing the book, she had to retype it several times because she could not afford to have the manuscript photocopied.]

[At the height of the book's popularity, someone began reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone every 30 seconds.]

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