Real Reason Why J.K. Rowling Uses Her Initials Instead Of Her Full Name

Date February 13, 2018

Joanne Rowling is best known for being the author of the immensely popular Harry Potter series. She is the recipient of several awards, while her books have sold over 400 million copies worldwide.

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The book series also spawned an equally successful movie franchise. A total of 8 films were made, and collectively, they got $7.7 billion in theaters alone.

The Harry Potter franchise catapulted Rowling from dependence on state benefits to millionaire status.

There’s a ‘K’ in her name she never talks about

Rowling's name on her birth certificate reads Joanne Rowling. She was born on July 31, 1965 to mother Anne Rowling and father Peter John Rowling. So, there was never a ‘K’ in her name to begin with. But somehow, it found its way in.

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Bloomsbury, the publishing house responsible for the Harry Potter book series, eventually solved the mystery behind the unknown middle name. According to a spokesperson, “When we asked her for her initials, she said J K." And that is how the initials came about.

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As for not using her full name on the books, the publishers felt that using initials would attract boys to read. It was believed that most boys at the time would frown at a book written by a woman, thinking those kinds of books are for girls only. And the trick worked.


The first book flew off shelves faster than they could get printed. It is so much for the unexplained ‘K’.

And she has an alias

Rowling pulled another rabbit out of the hat just as fans were calling for another Harry Potter book. In 2013, The Cuckoo's Calling was published by Sphere Books. Robert Galbraith was the name of the writer, and he had “a background in the army and the civilian security industry”.

The book was well received, but some observers suspected that it was written by a known author writing under a pseudonym. The Sunday Times made an elaborate investigation to uncover the true writer but was largely unsuccessful.

However, the truth eventually came out.

Two more books were released in the Cormoran Strike series, The Silkworm in 2014 and Career of Evil in 2015.

READ ALSO: Joanne K. Rowling On How She Rose From An Unemployed Single Mother To The Best-Selling Author In History