News

Rowling leaves Christopher Little Agency

J K Rowling's agent Neil Blair has left the Christopher Little Literary Agency, setting up a new company, The Blair Partnership. Rowling is moving with Blair, having "terminated her association" with the Christopher Little Agency.

A statement from Rowling's PR representatives, Stonehill Salt, said: "We can confirm that J K Rowling has terminated her association with the Christopher Little Literary Agency. She will be represented forthwith by Neil Blair, who has left the Christopher Little Literary Agency and set up The Blair Partnership."

Blair's current base is at strategic digital agency TH_NK's offices in east London. TH_NK and Blair worked together to develop the Pottermore site, through which Rowling's Harry Potter books will be sold exclusively as e-books, though it is not yet known if TH_NK will be involved in Blair's new company.

Blair refused to comment when contacted by The Bookseller. Little was unavailable for a response.

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Does that make JK Rowling an indie author? If so, welcome.

It really doesn't matter what Rowling does. Her fame has reached critical mass, so that no amount of criticism of her work--which has often been derided as derivative--will derail her juggernaut toward total domination of children's literature, unfortunately. Many authors before her wrote good books for children, but I'm not sure there will be many after her, especially considering her penchant for suing those who by chance included one single element that was reminiscent of anything in her books. All this means to me is that her former agency wouldn't let her buy and sell them, nor did they want to be her spear-carrier. Possibly they have found other authors worthy of their, and the world's, attention. One can always hope.

Isn't there a court case coming up against her? Might be a classic case of rats deserting a sinking ship.

@ Must Tell...
There was a court case, many years ago, but the woman in question was no doubt bought off, as I alluded to in my (now deleted) previous post.
Have you noticed how that happens, every time the authenticity of Rowling's catalogue is called into question? I thought this was The Bookseller, not Pravda.

Harry's Plotter have you got any evidence for any of these claims? You make assertions without back-up. It is no wonder people object to your posts. Put away the envy.

Chris...
If I had evidence you'd have read about it by now. In my deleted post I mentioned the article in Private Eye's 'Literary News' section, many years ago, about how Rowling was being taken to court by a woman who'd written a series of self-published books about a boy wizard with glasses and a lightning scar on his forehead, who attended a school for wizards. Private Eye printed both pictures and extracts from the self-published works alongside Rowling's and the similarities were undeniable. In fact they weren't just similar they were the same. All this happened before the first Potter took off and I suspect a deal was done to avoid court and justify the investment in Rowling. Since then the article has disappeared from Private Eye's archives (I've searched - no luck). All I can say is I read the piece and saw the pictures myself. There must be others out there who read it too but the juggernaut is now unstoppable so what does it matter? The main point is children across the world are re-engaged with books and reading, something that will follow then into adulthood no doubt, and that has to be a good thing for all of us. So, in essence I praise the Potter Revolution. However, Rowling isn't the literary genius she's made out to be. And somewhere there's a very rich, very anonymous woman, living a very, very comfortable life.
As for envy? I count my blessings every day, old son. And I believe success in life is all about timing. Writers have been penning this wizard stuff for centuries. Mrs Anonymous took her shot in the seventies when no-one was listening. Rowling picked up the reins when the planets had aligned and the rest is history. Good luck to them both.
I could still write Rowling out of the park, though...

Success in life is about timing. And she is a literary awesome writer. No one can deny that. Then again if you can't enjoy Potter maybe you don't agree. Thing is, if she writes another book and the press doesn't believe it surpasses or comes close to Potter than her fame goes burnt out. Except her truelly loyal fans will stay around. I don't see why a legal case from years ago has ANYTHING to do with her writing ability.
By the way her stuff may have some concepts used before "Derivative", but how she Executes it is how it becomes pure genius. How her work can be considered a metaphor and various other stuff is also a way of how that is.
You claim you can 'write her out of the park'? Let's see you do it!
Doubt you'll get very far though! At least surpassing her that is. I can't even do that (at least I don't believe so), even though others have told me I'm great at writing.
Point is she's one of the greats and press news and shit like that doesn't make skill.

Are you seriously arguing that, of all the periodicals in Britain, *Private Eye* has decided to participate in a huge cover-up? A mag whose entire purpose in life is to root out dodgy dealings has decided not to expose that a multi-million pound empire is built on fraud, and everyone who used to work there has decided to keep quiet too? Even though, if you're right, there are probably hundreds of copies of that very issue of Private Eye out there, which could be used to expose its complicity in a cover-up?

Riiight. Now just explain why anybody would have bothered to pay off both Private Eye and another author to protect the 'investment' in Rowling 'before the first Potter took off', when it was just another not very well-written fantasy novel for kids. (Hint: The cover for the first Potter was done by a completely inexperienced illustrator fresh out of art school. That's the level of investment we're talking about.)

...misplaced comma ironically in your final sentence 'I could still write Rowling out of the park, though...', unless you were about to continue? Infact 'write Rowling' also kind of clashes...terrible writing here! Rowling would be proud!

FYI I have never even touched a Potter book or let my eyes be damaged by the films, I am told she is great and films are wonderful blah dee blah dee haha....my main point is, little middle class boy with a thing on his head doing magic tricks....that whole premise just does not do it for me. And lets be honest in years to come we will look back on Potetr and realsie what an annoying face Daniel Radcliffe has. Our children will look upon 19th century texts like Dickens and think, 'wow, if this is what they were writing then, imagine the mastery of the English language by the 21st Century!' Then they realise that for an entire generation adults dressed as young boys queued up outside bookshops and cinemas to take in one of the most purposely designed mainstream books since the Bible which apparently (my opinion is loose here as have not read them) would struggle to win any prize for mastery of the English language but the story...oh what a story they shall say... has it encouraged children to go off and read other works? Classics? very doubtful, some adults have 2 books in their library, the hungry caterpillar and the Harry Potter collectiona dn for simple minds in a simple world that is all that is needed to make one happy. you know when thigs have gone to far when you are called the weirdo for not immersing yourself in Pottermania, and the person that is pointing the finger has a wand attached to it, a crude lightning bolt glued to their forehead and is basically old enough to know better...although age does not always bring wisdom (see young wise Harry Potter for details). One certainty is that Rowling will bash out a few more gems, but she will never surpass the Potter diamond and as time goes on and anniversaries of its release pass her by, I feel that she will being in the cash cow from pasture and milk those Potter udders till they run dry. Hence no Potter death, he will be back Potter fans, that'll be two books in 30 years you would have read...

You know what's amazing about your comment, Wain? You say you've never touched a Potter book yet you claim that the books are all these terrible horrible things. If you've never read them how can you pass judgments about them?
And the books are not about a "little middle class boy with a thing on his head doing magic tricks." It's about struggling with loss and love and giving hope to children who think of themselves as nothing that they can do something worth while and make a difference. There's action, adventure, romance, humor, drama, there's politics involved, and everyone of every age can find someone to relate to rather then say another great 19th century writer Holmes who's Sherlock Holmes book who's characters were so interchangeable and predictable you could read one of his stories and know how every single one of them would go.
And the fact that he does magic is actually just an interesting small dynamic. The magic in the books are actually just secondary to the plots. The books are beautifully written, vividly detailed and descriptive, the characters are all realistic and flawed, and she has created an entire world to rival the great JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings universe.
If you have read them and still feel this way about these seven masterpieces that will become classics and be kept on adults and children's bookshelves long after they're finished reading that's perfectly fine, but to sit there and judge these masterpieces so harshly while you never even read a single page or watched the movies just proves that maybe you should take a real long hard look in the mirror before you judge others.

I am French and managed to force my way through two Potter books and struggled so much... not because of the English language, but because I found them incredibly boring. In my opinion they are stories for very young kids, written for very young kids (and that's coming from someone for whom English is a third language). Having seen five of the movies, I did think that maybe the stories were becoming a bit too dark for youngsters as they evolved, but I don't think I'll ever feel like punishing myself by reading the remaining books of the series when there are so many great ones out there.

If people get inspired to read other books thanks to Rowling, great! But I somehow doubt that the Potter fans will get their teeth into proper literature like Verne, Hugo, Zola (as I'm French!) or Dickens and the Brontë sisters for instance, which are all authors I was reading from the age of 12.

I have a number of English colleagues between 20 and 40 who have never heard of Jane Eyre, which I cannot understand as most women of my age (35) in France would have read it - translated into French of course. These colleagues wouldn't have been raised with Harry Potter in the background, so I don't know if this means that I am just among people all with no interest in literature or if it is more a sign of a deeper problem in Britain.

Back to Rowling, her books may be entertaining to a number of people, but it doesn't make her a great author. I personally put her in the same bag as Dan Brown, successful but with a poor writing (ok, she may not be as bad as Brown, but not that far off in my opinion). And just in case I need to make it clear, there are a number of authors whose books I do not enjoy but that I do recognise as great writers (Balzac and Dickens among them).

There is a mention of a Nancy Kathleen Stouffer suing JK Rowling on the following link - not sure if this is what was being referred to. She lost her case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Stouffer#Allegations_of_copyright_and...

I wonder how long the copyright period for the Potter series is... Any idea how long before they fall into public domain? Wish her lawyers got it wrong just for the fun of her being told she can't sue people anymore!

Does that make JK Rowling an indie author? If so, welcome.

It really doesn't matter what Rowling does. Her fame has reached critical mass, so that no amount of criticism of her work--which has often been derided as derivative--will derail her juggernaut toward total domination of children's literature, unfortunately. Many authors before her wrote good books for children, but I'm not sure there will be many after her, especially considering her penchant for suing those who by chance included one single element that was reminiscent of anything in her books. All this means to me is that her former agency wouldn't let her buy and sell them, nor did they want to be her spear-carrier. Possibly they have found other authors worthy of their, and the world's, attention. One can always hope.

Isn't there a court case coming up against her? Might be a classic case of rats deserting a sinking ship.

@ Must Tell...
There was a court case, many years ago, but the woman in question was no doubt bought off, as I alluded to in my (now deleted) previous post.
Have you noticed how that happens, every time the authenticity of Rowling's catalogue is called into question? I thought this was The Bookseller, not Pravda.

Harry's Plotter have you got any evidence for any of these claims? You make assertions without back-up. It is no wonder people object to your posts. Put away the envy.

Chris...
If I had evidence you'd have read about it by now. In my deleted post I mentioned the article in Private Eye's 'Literary News' section, many years ago, about how Rowling was being taken to court by a woman who'd written a series of self-published books about a boy wizard with glasses and a lightning scar on his forehead, who attended a school for wizards. Private Eye printed both pictures and extracts from the self-published works alongside Rowling's and the similarities were undeniable. In fact they weren't just similar they were the same. All this happened before the first Potter took off and I suspect a deal was done to avoid court and justify the investment in Rowling. Since then the article has disappeared from Private Eye's archives (I've searched - no luck). All I can say is I read the piece and saw the pictures myself. There must be others out there who read it too but the juggernaut is now unstoppable so what does it matter? The main point is children across the world are re-engaged with books and reading, something that will follow then into adulthood no doubt, and that has to be a good thing for all of us. So, in essence I praise the Potter Revolution. However, Rowling isn't the literary genius she's made out to be. And somewhere there's a very rich, very anonymous woman, living a very, very comfortable life.
As for envy? I count my blessings every day, old son. And I believe success in life is all about timing. Writers have been penning this wizard stuff for centuries. Mrs Anonymous took her shot in the seventies when no-one was listening. Rowling picked up the reins when the planets had aligned and the rest is history. Good luck to them both.
I could still write Rowling out of the park, though...

Success in life is about timing. And she is a literary awesome writer. No one can deny that. Then again if you can't enjoy Potter maybe you don't agree. Thing is, if she writes another book and the press doesn't believe it surpasses or comes close to Potter than her fame goes burnt out. Except her truelly loyal fans will stay around. I don't see why a legal case from years ago has ANYTHING to do with her writing ability.
By the way her stuff may have some concepts used before "Derivative", but how she Executes it is how it becomes pure genius. How her work can be considered a metaphor and various other stuff is also a way of how that is.
You claim you can 'write her out of the park'? Let's see you do it!
Doubt you'll get very far though! At least surpassing her that is. I can't even do that (at least I don't believe so), even though others have told me I'm great at writing.
Point is she's one of the greats and press news and shit like that doesn't make skill.

Are you seriously arguing that, of all the periodicals in Britain, *Private Eye* has decided to participate in a huge cover-up? A mag whose entire purpose in life is to root out dodgy dealings has decided not to expose that a multi-million pound empire is built on fraud, and everyone who used to work there has decided to keep quiet too? Even though, if you're right, there are probably hundreds of copies of that very issue of Private Eye out there, which could be used to expose its complicity in a cover-up?

Riiight. Now just explain why anybody would have bothered to pay off both Private Eye and another author to protect the 'investment' in Rowling 'before the first Potter took off', when it was just another not very well-written fantasy novel for kids. (Hint: The cover for the first Potter was done by a completely inexperienced illustrator fresh out of art school. That's the level of investment we're talking about.)

...misplaced comma ironically in your final sentence 'I could still write Rowling out of the park, though...', unless you were about to continue? Infact 'write Rowling' also kind of clashes...terrible writing here! Rowling would be proud!

FYI I have never even touched a Potter book or let my eyes be damaged by the films, I am told she is great and films are wonderful blah dee blah dee haha....my main point is, little middle class boy with a thing on his head doing magic tricks....that whole premise just does not do it for me. And lets be honest in years to come we will look back on Potetr and realsie what an annoying face Daniel Radcliffe has. Our children will look upon 19th century texts like Dickens and think, 'wow, if this is what they were writing then, imagine the mastery of the English language by the 21st Century!' Then they realise that for an entire generation adults dressed as young boys queued up outside bookshops and cinemas to take in one of the most purposely designed mainstream books since the Bible which apparently (my opinion is loose here as have not read them) would struggle to win any prize for mastery of the English language but the story...oh what a story they shall say... has it encouraged children to go off and read other works? Classics? very doubtful, some adults have 2 books in their library, the hungry caterpillar and the Harry Potter collectiona dn for simple minds in a simple world that is all that is needed to make one happy. you know when thigs have gone to far when you are called the weirdo for not immersing yourself in Pottermania, and the person that is pointing the finger has a wand attached to it, a crude lightning bolt glued to their forehead and is basically old enough to know better...although age does not always bring wisdom (see young wise Harry Potter for details). One certainty is that Rowling will bash out a few more gems, but she will never surpass the Potter diamond and as time goes on and anniversaries of its release pass her by, I feel that she will being in the cash cow from pasture and milk those Potter udders till they run dry. Hence no Potter death, he will be back Potter fans, that'll be two books in 30 years you would have read...

You know what's amazing about your comment, Wain? You say you've never touched a Potter book yet you claim that the books are all these terrible horrible things. If you've never read them how can you pass judgments about them?
And the books are not about a "little middle class boy with a thing on his head doing magic tricks." It's about struggling with loss and love and giving hope to children who think of themselves as nothing that they can do something worth while and make a difference. There's action, adventure, romance, humor, drama, there's politics involved, and everyone of every age can find someone to relate to rather then say another great 19th century writer Holmes who's Sherlock Holmes book who's characters were so interchangeable and predictable you could read one of his stories and know how every single one of them would go.
And the fact that he does magic is actually just an interesting small dynamic. The magic in the books are actually just secondary to the plots. The books are beautifully written, vividly detailed and descriptive, the characters are all realistic and flawed, and she has created an entire world to rival the great JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings universe.
If you have read them and still feel this way about these seven masterpieces that will become classics and be kept on adults and children's bookshelves long after they're finished reading that's perfectly fine, but to sit there and judge these masterpieces so harshly while you never even read a single page or watched the movies just proves that maybe you should take a real long hard look in the mirror before you judge others.

I am French and managed to force my way through two Potter books and struggled so much... not because of the English language, but because I found them incredibly boring. In my opinion they are stories for very young kids, written for very young kids (and that's coming from someone for whom English is a third language). Having seen five of the movies, I did think that maybe the stories were becoming a bit too dark for youngsters as they evolved, but I don't think I'll ever feel like punishing myself by reading the remaining books of the series when there are so many great ones out there.

If people get inspired to read other books thanks to Rowling, great! But I somehow doubt that the Potter fans will get their teeth into proper literature like Verne, Hugo, Zola (as I'm French!) or Dickens and the Brontë sisters for instance, which are all authors I was reading from the age of 12.

I have a number of English colleagues between 20 and 40 who have never heard of Jane Eyre, which I cannot understand as most women of my age (35) in France would have read it - translated into French of course. These colleagues wouldn't have been raised with Harry Potter in the background, so I don't know if this means that I am just among people all with no interest in literature or if it is more a sign of a deeper problem in Britain.

Back to Rowling, her books may be entertaining to a number of people, but it doesn't make her a great author. I personally put her in the same bag as Dan Brown, successful but with a poor writing (ok, she may not be as bad as Brown, but not that far off in my opinion). And just in case I need to make it clear, there are a number of authors whose books I do not enjoy but that I do recognise as great writers (Balzac and Dickens among them).

There is a mention of a Nancy Kathleen Stouffer suing JK Rowling on the following link - not sure if this is what was being referred to. She lost her case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Stouffer#Allegations_of_copyright_and...

I wonder how long the copyright period for the Potter series is... Any idea how long before they fall into public domain? Wish her lawyers got it wrong just for the fun of her being told she can't sue people anymore!