J.K. Rowling wrote it? No wonder 'The Cuckoo's Calling' is so good(Read article summary)
J.K. Rowling used the pseudonym Robert Galbraith to publish her novel 'The Cuckoo's Calling,' which impressed critics but didn't experience notable sales.
R: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP
Readers no doubt remember the worldwide anticipation that ensued when it was announced âHarry Potterâ author J.K. Rowling was writing âThe Casual Vacancyâ â a new book aimed at an adult audience.
It turns out that Rowlingâs newest novel didnât receive quite the same pre-release buzz.
After receiving a tip, the Sunday Times of London discovered that Rowling was the real author behind a recently published mystery novel titled âThe Cuckooâs Calling,â which was billed as written by Robert Galbraith and originally released in April. In the authorâs bio, Galbraith was described as a former member of the Royal Police. The bio also noted that the name Robert Galbraith was a pseudonym â a completely accurate statement, as it turns out.
In her own statement last week, Rowling said she âhad hoped to keep this secret a little longer.â
âBeing Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,â the author said. âIt has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.â
Now that the cat is out of the bag, "Cuckoo's Calling" has soared to number two on the Amazon bestseller list and number one on the Barnes & Noble website. Because the book rose from such low sales numbers, the book's sales on Amazon increased more than 507,000 percent.
According to the bookâs publisher, Little, Brown (also Rowlingâs publisher for âCasual Vacancyâ), a sequel is in the works.
At least one reviewer was not entirely fooled by the ploy, writing that âthe book seemed almost too assured and sophisticated to be a first novel,â NYT writer Sarah Lyall noted.Â
But some publishers, it seems, were.
Kate Mills, who is the publishing director of Orion, tweeted that she had seen the manuscript by "Galbraith." âSo, I can now say that I turned down JK Rowling,â she wrote. âI did read and say no to Cuckoo's Calling. Anyone else going to confess?â
Mills told the Telegraph that the book didnât catch her eye. âWhen the book came in, I thought it was perfectly good â it was certainly well written â but it didn't stand out,â she said.
As mentioned by the BBC, Rowling mentioned in a 2001 interview that she found the idea of writing under a pseudonym âappealing.â