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Just 10 years ago Bryony Evens was a literary agent's office manager. One of her jobs was to sort out manuscripts by new authors. Bryony opened a package containing a children's book submission. Although her agency did not represent children's books, the unusual folder caught Bryony's eye and she decided to read it rather than reject it.

"I read the first three chapters, which is what had been sent in, and I loved it so much, I wanted to see the whole book," Bryony says. "Really, I just wanted to read to the end of the book. I didn't care about whether we were going to sell it or not at that point. I got my boss to read it and he liked it."

The book was rejected by a number of publishers before it arrived at Bloomsbury. But they shared Bryony's passion and published…

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.

Since the fateful day that Bryony saved it from the reject pile, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has become a staggering success with six best-selling books and four blockbuster movies. Harry Potter has made J.K. Rowling one of the richest women in England.

Harry Potter wasn't the only success plucked from the rubbish pile. One retail giant started by selling discarded military surplus.
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FROM: I Was the One
Published on September 12, 2005

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