J.K. Rowling cashes in a £34m cheque on her pay day

J.K. Rowling is banking a £34 million royalty cheque as earnings from the Harry Potter books and films continue to roll in

The phenomenal success of Harry Potter has conjured up a £650 million fortune for the boy wizard’s creator, J.K. Rowling — and her money-making spell shows no danger of wearing off.

I can reveal the once-penniless author is banking a £34 million royalty cheque from her agent, Neil Blair, as earnings from the Harry Potter books and films continue to roll in.

The payday is revealed in new accounts for the company that handles the royalty payments for Rowling’s artistic output, The Collections Agency Limited. Blair, her literary agent, is the sole director of the company, and J.K. Rowling is named as its ‘ultimate controlling party’.

Over the period May 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, cash in The Collections Agency Limited leapt from £3.3 million to £46.5 million, primarily owing to income from books, films and merchandising. Rowling, 52, will receive more than £34 million, after deducting ‘payments of commission and other expenses’.

The notes to the accounts say: ‘During the period, royalties were collected on behalf of, and paid on to, the ultimate controlling party, J.K. Rowling. Included within other creditors at the balance sheet date is an amount of £34.57 million, due to J.K. Rowling.’ Forbes magazine estimated Rowling earned £72.3 million in 2016 — or £137 a minute.

Major money-spinners are the play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, which is running in New York and London, and the Pottermore website, which generated £4.8 million in royalties over the year to March.

Rowling lives in Edinburgh with her second husband, Dr Neil Murray, and her three children. She has splashed her cash by reportedly buying her neighbour’s home for £1million so the family could have a bigger garden.

But she never forgets the stigma she endured writing the first Harry Potter book as a single mother on benefits. ‘I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life,’ she says.

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