Yesterday, it was announced that the author Robert Galbraith was none other than the magical J.K. Rowling writing under a pseudonym. Galbraith/Rowling’s book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, is a crime mystery that was published by Little, Brown’s Mulholland Books on April 30, 2013. While the book has gotten great reviews from reputable sources (Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review), it hadn’t done much in sales, relatively speaking anyway. Up until the announcement yesterday, the book had only sold about 1,500 copies. Less than 24 hours after the big author reveal, and it’s already number one on Amazon. Huffington Post reports that the sales from Amazon.com alone have increased by 150,000%.
–Damn, that’s a big percentage, and probably already outdated as of the writing of this post.
Writing and publishing under a pseudonym was a brilliant idea from Rowling. She could write what she wanted without it being judged by and compared to her Harry Potter books—which is what unfortunately happened with her book, The Casual Vacancy. Many, many people talked about how it wasn’t as good as Harry Potter and that it was so different, instead of judging it on its own merits. I read and reviewed The Casual Vacancy a couple months ago, and tried to avoid mentioning wizards and magic and focused on the text itself. Honestly, though, it wasn’t wonderful.
With The Cuckoo’s Calling, she’s avoided this judgment up until now. She’s been able to bask in the knowledge that yes, she can still write a good story that people enjoy without it being instantly compared to Harry Potter. It’s too bad that she won’t get to take pleasure in not being held to the Harry Potter standard much longer, but I wish her the best of luck with this new crime mystery endeavor.
I also have a new book to put on my ever-growing list of “want to read.”
If you want to read more about the book and how the big reveal came about, check out these articles: