As it was revealed the previous week, the true author of the detective novel Cuckoo’s Calling released back in April is not a Robert Galbraith, but the world-famous British novelist Joanne Rowling, the author of best-selling Harry Potter series.
It is hard to say now why it has turned out like this: was this revelation an accident or a clever marketing move, or a result of misunderstanding between the author and the publishing house of Little&Brown Company. According to Joanne Rowling, to reveal her identity as the author of this book was certainly not her intention – at least, not so soon. To call it a marketing ploy would also be an overstatement – Rowling’s name has long ago turned into an advertisement enough for her books to be bought irrespectively of how they are delivered to the readers.
One can only wonder why Ms. Rowling decided to publish her new novel under a pseudonym and why her identity has been revealed. The most likely explanation of this news is that she decided to see how her new book would sell without an advertisement of this kind. The result was rather pathetic: since its release the Cuckoo’s Calling has sold only about 500 copies in hardcover in the US. The publishing house was probably not very happy about this – and tried to get the information about the author to the public, which quickly changed the situation – after the news broke the book went to press four times and had as much as 390,000 copies in the United States, and the Cuckoo’s Calling is conspicuously displayed by all the book stores.
Or it could all have been an accident or a direct decision of the author – the official version is that the source of the leak was Rowling’s London law firm. Ms. Rowling herself, however, states that she planned to write and publish more than one novel under the alias of Robert Galbraith and certainly wasn’t happy when her identity has been revealed so early. She will most likely go through with this plan – the next Galbraith’s novel is already finished and will probably be published next year.
Joanne Rowling is famous for her Harry Potter series – a cycle of novels about the eponymous young wizard living in contemporary England which conceals behind its mundane façade the world of magic, wonder and intrigue. It’s a peculiar combination of genres: school story, bildungsroman and fantasy – has made the book insanely popular both among children (to whom the series has been initially addressed) and grown-ups. Even now it remains one of the most best-selling books in contemporary Great Britain and a notable phenomenon of modern world literature.