Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling apparently no longer needs some of the people and services that helped vault her from a penniless single mother into the world's all-time bestselling writer. Rowling has severed her professional relationship with the literary agent who discovered her, Christopher Little, and weeks before she said she would publish her Harry Potter works as eBooks herself.
Little was notified that Rowling would no longer be using his services in a dismissal letter written and sent by Little's business partner and company lawyer Neil Blair, who told Little he was leaving their firm and taking Rowling with him as a client.
News of his dismissal is said to have devastated Little, who discovered Rowling and got her first publishing contract for the Harry Potter after she was broke from writing and getting nothing but rejection slips in return.
In June, Rowling also stunned the literary world when she announced she was finally releasing Harry Potter books in digital eBooks form, but that she was doing so through her own Website, newly-created Pottermore. The move was a jolt to the publishing establishment that launched Rowling to riches and fame by selling and promoting her works because in acting as the publisher and distributor for her Harry Potter works, she cut out e-retailers like Amazon from the process and relegated her U.S. publisher, Scholastic into receiving royalties from her from eBook sales.
By all accounts, Rowling's Pottermore site will follow similar success that she received in traditional book channels, as soon as the author made initial tweets through a new Pottermore Twitter account last month, she had more than 40,000 followers within a day. The Pottermore Twitter account has been releasing several sneak previews of the soon-to-be-launched Web site with strong response and following
Rowling's Pottermore site is expected to be launched in October of this year.
Similarly, Rowling's career is not expected to be damaged by her severing the relationship with Little, the agent who discovered her. He, however, may never get over being dumped, according to his friends.
Chris is distraught and desperately trying to work out what went wrong, said one of LIttle's friends, speaking with the Daily Mail. He has been with her from the beginning and now feels betrayed and abandoned at a time when his health has not been very good. He just doesn't know how it has come to this.
Rowling and Little apparently disagreed over financial terms. A spokesperson for Rowling says the author's professional breakup with her literary agent was a painful decision and that Rowling had sought a different outcome.
Little was well compensated for his services, however. When he sold the first Harry Potter book to Bloomsbury he received an advance of less than $10,000 for Rowling, then a 29-year-old penniless single mother. Soon, however, the Harry Potter series became one of the bestselling books and film properties in the world, making Rowling a billionaire and Little a wealthy agent, considering he received 15 percent of all book sales in the U.K. and other money from film rights and U.S. market and translation book deals.