Skip to comments.How A Mysterious Tweet Exposed JK Rowling As The Author Of 'The Cuckoo's Calling'
Posted on 07/14/2013 10:08:38 AM PDT by Perdogg
By now almost everyone will have heard the news J.K. Rowling, the author of the "Harry Potter" series of books and one of the most successful writers ever, published a low-selling but highly praised detective novel under the name Robert Galbraith earlier this year.
The story was broken last night by Richard Brooks, the arts editor of the UK's Sunday Times. It's clearly a huge scoop but how exactly did Brooks manage to crack the literary world's best-kept secret?
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
He’s a she???
JK Rowlings is a man? or is Richard Brooks a woman?
The article said that the book sold a wopping 1,500 copies and was a “hit.” To me 1,500 copies is a failure. Methinks that Rawlings came out with the announcement to help rescue this bomb.
Oh great, more penny awfuls from this graphomaniac with seven clichés per page (I counted!)!
Literary world's best-kept secret?!
I guess it must be. I've never heard of it...
They didn’t say it was a hit, they said it was low selling but highly praised. Now it’s a hit though, Amazon has it in their top 100.
I really liked the Harry Potter series, although I readily admit it is not literature for the ages. It’s just like in the movie industry— G-rated adventure stories can be big blockbusters. But then the makers have to try to do something more ‘grown-up’ and they go on to produce R-rated stuff that bombs.
Family entertainment will not gain you respect from snobby peers in the industry, but it will make you a ton of money if you are reasonably good at it.
Hehe. I came across the terms "penny dreadful" and "shilling shocker" a earlier in the year.
Knowledge, heretofore, that has been looking for an application.
Are people still really taken in by this low-rent, see-through “viral marketing” in 2013.
I'm Mrs Malaprop, and I stand by what I meant to say. ( "shilling shocker" is a new one on me.)
A “mysterious tweet” just outed her, huh? I’m sure her and her publisher are devastated now that the secret’s been revealed.
Apparently, they are.
First, you have a boutique imprint, by Little, Brown & Co, which typically handles under 5,000 copies at a time. This is the imprint that sold 1,500 copies on Amazon.co.uk; apparently it was the limit that Amazon could secure out of the print, all the rest of the copies were sold to book chains in the UK, which appears to be mostly sold out.
The Mulholland imprint handles worldwide distribution, and their minimum is 80,000 copies. Amazon typically commands no less than 30% of their runs, and appears to have sold out on Saturday night. The presses for Little, Brown & Co's Mulholland is running ragged, as present order window off of Amazon is 10-14 days, which means it will be the third printing if you ordered it today, or roughly 200,000 copies sold already.
So, for those who are interested in collecting books, hunt down this cover: from someone who has stock right now, and you'll likely have a book that will go up in value. Because of UK laws, this imprint does say that it is a pseudonym for the real author.
Oh, and as a side note, third printing will have the author bio of JK Rawling. First and second prints have the fake bio.
IMHO, the greatest benefit of the Harry Potter series is that it gets kids to read, and to enjoy reading. They can move on from there, but something has to spark an interest in reading itself. This is especially true in an error when so many alternative options (i.e.,computer games) are availabe.
Check out the mysteries of Benjamin Black, alter ego of literary writer John Banville. In one interview, Banville said that as Banville he’s good for 500 words a day, and as Black for 5000.
JK Rowling needs to do one of the following:
1. Write another Harry Potter Book (They need an 8th book to tie up the loose ends).
2. Start a new set of books set in the Wizarding world but with different caracters. Maybe a trilogy?
3. Drop the Wizarding world and do another world—Sci-Fi?
4. Start a new book with new “Normal” people set in England during the Blitz.
5. Go for good detective novels making a new offbeat detective of some sort—be creative!
6. Write short stories for magazines or Dr. Who?
7. Do non-fiction—maybe a biography or autobiography?
I’d like to see #1 or #1, she’s got a gift for fiction. Probably #2, and maybe follow the Heinleinesque path of filling in past and future history.
I’ll bet this book is soon to become “formerly low-sellling”!
I teach a Harry Potter literature class and our local community college has asked me to teach it there as well. There is so much literary content that we can’t make it through all of it in one semester. The mythical, classical, Biblical, alchemical, etc. references are very richly done. The classic good vs. evil plot is quite intricately woven into the classical mono myth cycle. Rowling’s use of Chekhof’s gun is insane. Heck, I could teach an entire semester on just the Nazi allegory alone!
I was disappointed that it wasn't Nevile that ended He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. After all, Voldemort marked him with scars far deeper than Harry's. I was also disappointed that he and Luna didn't get married and have a whole bunch of half-a-bubble-off kids...
Ah, marketing. If I wrote a novel, I’d love to link it to some bestselling author’s name.
Maybe the publishers are pasting bestselling authors’ names on other writers’ books? For a fee, of course.
I dreamed of of a book to follow the growth and evolution of Durley -— I saw him as becoming a Bobby in London, then a detective. Luna, could write a story on him, and help him with a case that would involve Harry—fall in love and get married. That would be really interesting if he married a witch! What would his mother and father think of that? Their children would end up at Hogwarts. Just an idle notion.
Interesting. Too bad the Dursleys are in the witless protection program.
“I was disappointed that it wasn’t Nevile that ended He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. After all, Voldemort marked him with scars far deeper than Harry’s.”
We got into this in my last class. We spent about a week on “scars.” It was interesting when the discussion turned to bullying and we discussed the main foils (Harry/Dudley and Harry/Draco) and how Rowling handled this. We noted that when students were left to handle their own problems, they could successfully handle themselves without helicopter teachers/parents protecting their little feelings.
I think Harry had to end it not only because of the prophesy that Voldemort fulfilled himself, but because of the Christ-like figure that Rowling might have been going for. I definitely read Harry as a Christ-like figure, with Ron and Hermione being Saints James and John.
Who's 'Chekhof, professor? And what's "literature", if Rowling's cliche ridden pages are considered as such?
Ah, but Voldemort marked Nevile as well. Emotional scars, scars far deeper than the cut on Harry's forehead, when he personally tortured both of Nevile's parents into insanity. Nevile also meets that end of July birth requirement.
And Rowling arguably foreshadowed it with Mme Pomphrey's comments on scars.
but because of the Christ-like figure that Rowling might have been going for.
Yeah. See also "The Hidden Key to Harry Potter" By John (no relation to Hermione) Granger.
I definitely read Harry as a Christ-like figure
Me too. It made the ending rather predictable, though.
Harry Potter ping!
I’m not a professor, but thanks for the compliment! As you’re on FR, you have proven that you can use the Internet. I suggest searching for the answer to your question, as you strike me as the type if person who is just looking for a good cat (pardon the pun) fight right now. I have bread to bake while my son is relaxing and my daughter is napping.
There’s a Harry Potter ping list? Add me pretty please!
Yes, there is, and you are now on it.
It doesn’t get used much these days. I think that might have been the first ping this year.
Steven King wrote as Richard Bachman due to contractual obligations. He was so prolific at the time, cranking out novels faster than the publishers could promote, market and release them so he started writing as Bachman as to not interfere with the sales of Steven King books.
Rowling has more money than the Queen of England. I don't think she's too concerned with lagging book sales. And it sounds like she had every intention of coming clean at some point in the future at which point sales would've skyrocketed.
I'm guessing she chose to write under a pseudonym because it sounds like this isn't a book geared towards kids and she didn't want a bunch of young readers snapping it up (or adults avoiding it) because her name was attached to it. And writing as a male isn't really unusual. Lots of writers swap genders when writing under a pseudonym.
I would love to see some books about the exploits of the Marauders. :)
I have wished I could take your class ever since you first mentioned it. :)
Does she write well? I have never read the Harry Potter books. Harry Potter seems to be, from what I understand, a lot like ‘star wars’. There seems to be a lot of same themes.
I think there are a lot of writers who are making a killing and I was thinking about getting in on the action.
I agree. This sudden “exposure” was to increase sales.
That may be the case but when they didn’t sell, they were quickly linked to the best selling author’s name to boost sales...
By all means, get in on the action. Sidney Sheldon didn’t write well, Danielle Steel doesn’t either, but they have produced. (I understand that Danielle actually dictates to interns with graduate degrees in English whom she employs. William F. Buckley was said to dictate his spy stories to a recorder in the limousine. Somebody else, I forget who, just lets the interns write the text around his basic ideas. ) What’s the secret, I dunno, or I’d get in on the action m’self.
I tried reading Rowling. Really tried. I lasted a dozen pages. I couldn’t get past those seven cliches per page, cliches that not only annoyed, but by the very definition of a cliche, didn’t convey any meaning. What is she talking about, I kept asking? After the first volume I kept going to the bookstores whenever the next tome was published (no, I didn’t stand in line at midnight in freezing weather with the rest of the Hairy fans, and I didn’t make special trips, either!) grabbing a copy from the stack and counting the cliches on the first three pages. Yep, seven per page every time.
I think it goes like this: Wanna be poor? Write literature. Wanna be rich? Write a dystopian future with vampires and/or zombies. Or better yet, zompires. Make your heroine a 16-year old girl. Add lots of cliches, about seven per page and you'll sell a bajillion copies. Guarantee two sequels and Ridley Scott's production company will buy the motion picture rights for a cool million (and you'll be able to get in on that action two by contributing a couple of lines to the screenplay).
It's that easy!
Create an “open universe” for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, let other writers in, and get a cut of each story?
The first book is average to so-so, her skill improves with each book. In my opinion, her peak is Order of the Phoenix, which is practically a very readable how-to book (or I guess in British English, a DYI guide) on coping with and overturning a repressive regime. It should be required reading in every high school.
I have never read the Harry Potter books.
Me neither. I've listened to them multiple times, they are great for long trips.
Harry Potter seems to be, from what I understand, a lot like star wars. There seems to be a lot of same themes.
Yes, see also The Hero's Journey as described by Joseph Campbell. The stories share a common trajectory:
A start in ordinary lifeAs such they share the same basic theme with much of literature great and pedestrian ever since the Epic of Gilgamesh...
A removal from the ordinary
A challenge to be solved
A precipitating crisis
A descent into the abyss
A battle of good an evil
A return from the abyss
A summary of the lessons learned
A return to the real world a changed person
Why are you having this ridiculous issue when the books were Harry Potter, not Neville. Eek.