Friday, 26 July 2013

The Cuckoo's Calling!

Once again it is Friday and the sun is shining! It's been an exciting week, we have a new royal baby, George, and a new JK Rowling book!

I'm going to talk about the latter this week as the revelation of JK Rowling's latest book 'The Cuckoo's Calling' under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith took the publishing and media world by storm.

Rowling says that she sold 8,500 copies across all media in the few months of release as Robert Galbraith, although the Bookseller claims only 500 hardback copies were sold - but within 24 hours of the leak the book was at #1 of the charts and between 14 and 20 July, 17,662 copies were sold compared to the 43 copies the week before.

Rowling claims that it was not an elaborate marketing/PR scheme to boost sales and would've liked it to have been kept secret a little longer. I can see why she used a pseudonym -  when The Casual Vacancy was published sales were phenomenal, but I couldn't help but feel like these sales were purely because of who she was and her success with Harry Potter. Not that she couldn't write necessarily, but she was so famous for the Harry Potter series as a children's genre, I wasn't quite sure if she could cross over to adult fiction. I went to a Q&A with Anthony Horowitz at the LBF'12 and he said one of the hardest things for a children's author is to cross over to adult and he had tried many times. It was almost like she managed to skip the queue with her adult fiction, she was guaranteed sales from day 1. Now with The Cuckoo's Calling she gave herself that freedom to give her work the chance it deserves for the writing itself, not just her name. For a little while anyway...

But what makes me just a little bit sceptical over her claim of no PR plan, is that being who she is and the success of her previous work, she knew one day that it would be revealed... She wouldn't be able to get away with Robert Galbraith forever, and I doubt she'd want to - she claims she wanted to keep it quiet for a little bit longer, which suggests that she wanted to reveal it eventually, so somewhere, sometime there was a plan to push sales and give it the credit of her name that it is due.

What do you think about it all? Do you think it's all a media stunt or is using a pseudonym a great way for famous people to write anonymously? Have you got yourselves a copy yet or plan to?
Let me know, I'd love to hear all your reviews of it all!

Stay tuned next week for your summer reads and maybe even a summer competition....


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I think a lot of it depends on her intentions which we'll never really know. Maybe she meant she would rather it stayed secret for longer in that she knew it would come out some time but she wished it hadn't been so quick? Or maybe, as you say, she'd always planned to make the reveal and, if so, her intentions must be quite clear.

    I understand the draw of it, though. I'm about a million miles away from ever being published but I'm not sure I'd like to be restricted to just one type of book, if I ever do; I'm currently working on some contemporary female fiction simply because that's the current idea I have but my heart lies with fantasy and I also like the idea of YA. And doing all three of those with the same name seems unlikely?

    The concept is good but intentions are pretty pivotal when it comes to it