Everywhere JK Rowling goes, she’s the woman who wrote Harry Potter. There’s simply no escaping it. Even when she moved on to more adult material, an overwhelming majority of her readers went into the book with preconceived notions based on the work she’d already turned out. No doubt that experience must have been extremely stifling creatively, which is why she recently decided to publish a novel under a pseudonym.
Entitled The Cuckoo’s Calling, the mystery received pretty good reviews when it came out back in April, but according to Entertainment Weekly, it fell short of selling a thousand copies. Eventually, it probably would have crept into the four figures, but without some radical shot from left field, it wasn’t going to make any big waves. Fortunately or unfortunately, however, that shot from left field came when the law firm that handled the book mistakenly let it slap that Rowling was the real author. In just a matter of days, the text has shot to the number one seller slot, and the publisher recently ordered a new printing of 300,000 copies.
From a purely monetary perspective, JK Rowling will make way more money thanks to the information becoming publically available, but she’s not the least bit pleased with what happened. In fact, she’s really pissed about it.
"To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm, and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced."
On the one hand, it’s easy to see where she’s coming from. For one book, she didn’t want to be JK Rowling. For one publishing cycle, she just wanted a break and wanted the ability to see the type of audience she would attract without her past clouding everything. Thanks to one of the partners at a law firm telling his wife’s friend who talked about it on Twitter, however, she’ll never get that chance.
On the other hand, however, the whole point of writing a book is for people to read it, and now, instead of a thousand people reading it, many times that will give her mystery a try. Maybe some will like this Rowling better. Maybe some will give her the encouragement she needs to publish more novels in this genre.
I get where Rowling is coming from about feeling betrayed, but I can’t help but think the leak might not be the worst thing in the world. What do you think? Does Rowling have a right to be pissed off? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…
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