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Old 07-18-2013, 08:41 AM   #91
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:02 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
>>Kate Mills, fiction editor at Orion Books, admitted she had turned down the crime novel, which she described as "well-written but quiet".

"So, I can now say that I turned down JK Rowling. I did read and say no to Cuckoo's Calling. Anyone else going to confess?" she tweeted. <<

The above from the BBC article. I find this the strangest part. I would assume that she and her editor together planned to publish the book pseudonymously. Or rather that she asked her editor and he agreed. But the above makes it sound like she shopped the book around as if she were a first-time author. And then what? Her current editor happened to be the one to pick up?? What a coincidence!!

eP
Try this scenario:

Rowling wanted to see how good a writer she is and how well her new mystery *series* might be received without her brand greasing the skids for her. So she wrote the book, likely *before* CASUAL VACANCY (these things take lots of time, plus she *said* she would be writing a mystery when Deathly Hallows came out) and then had her agent submit it under the pseudonym. (Without the agent *nobody* would have even read it.)

Months go by, she waits for somebody to pluck Robert Galbraith and, at best, gets rejections like the above (which translates as: "good read but unlikely to be the next 50 shades, oh so sorry".) and at worst she gets chirping crickets. (That's life for a talented writer waiting to be discovered and validated with a trad pub contract.)

Eventually, the agent (either with or without Rowling's consent) relaxes the rules and lets her editor at Little, Brown in on the exercise. (Or, said editor just coincidentally likes Galbraith's work enough to champion his "quiet" book. More likely: the editor recognized Rowling's writing, coming through the same agent and all...)

So, the book goes out as a debut by an unknown and, like 99.999999% of unknown writers, receives minimal support (not expected to be a bestseller without her brand attached) and sells slowly. (BTW, her 500 pbooks a month average is actually pretty good under the circumstances.)

Now, what is unknown at this point is how many at the publisher knew wrote the book and what kind of plans (read: print runs) they had for it. They may have chosen to honor her intent and treated it exactly like any other midlist newcomer (5-figure print run) or they may have expected or planned for what happened and prepared several warehouses full of copies, waiting for her to be outed.

If the pbook pipeline is quickly filled with millions of copies in response to the outing, then it will be clear the knowledge went deep and the plan to out her (willingly or not is unclear) was part of the reason Little, Brown took on the book. At which point it will be fully clear to Rowling that, while she is indeed a good enough writer to make the ranks of the midlist on merit, what most peope are buying is her brand, not the book. Which is nothing shameful since she built that brand honestly through hard work and business savvy.

It's an interesting experiment but until we know exacty who knew what when we can't pass judgment. It might all be just an elaborate publicity scheme or an experiment that ran its course, but I at least don't believe that her outing was anything but a publisher orchestrated move; there is simply too much money at stake for them to let her stay anonymous for long.

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Old 07-18-2013, 10:10 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Only if people believe everything they read.

More seriously: there is a loonnnggg tradition of fake bios in books, usually in fun. And when pseudonyms are involved most anything goes, the more outlandish the better.
If she used a pseudonym to get away from people's expectations she could have chosen a bio that creates no expectations.

I would like to know what her bio was on the first Harry Potter book.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:03 PM   #94
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Clearly they couldn't because her writing doesn't show maturity.
That is a totally subjective judgement. There is no way to quantify "maturity" in writing, other than I guess the sentence structure. But Mo Willem's 4th 'Pidgeon" book for toddlers will seem less mature by that measure than any debut aimed at adult audiences.

You also claimed that any reviewer ought to be able to tell by the writing "stile" whether it is an author's first book or whether they have "experience". I'm unclear how that would be possible.

Care to elaborate on the specific methods and procedures involved of how your average book reviewer would determine with certainty, from the text alone, whether it is a debut or not? I'd be fascinated.

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:54 PM   #95
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I too loved Casual Vacancy, it was a 5 star read for me and I found myself wishing she would get a new one out again soon. I was thrilled to hear about this Cuckoo's Calling and bought it immediately.
I am enjoying it very much.
I was not a fan of her Harry Potter books so it may just be I like her adult writing better.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Try this scenario:

Rowling wanted to see how good a writer she is and how well her new mystery *series* might be received without her brand greasing the skids for her. So she wrote the book, likely *before* CASUAL VACANCY (these things take lots of time, plus she *said* she would be writing a mystery when Deathly Hallows came out) and then had her agent submit it under the pseudonym. (Without the agent *nobody* would have even read it.)

Months go by, she waits for somebody to pluck Robert Galbraith and, at best, gets rejections like the above (which translates as: "good read but unlikely to be the next 50 shades, oh so sorry".) and at worst she gets chirping crickets. (That's life for a talented writer waiting to be discovered and validated with a trad pub contract.)

Eventually, the agent (either with or without Rowling's consent) relaxes the rules and lets her editor at Little, Brown in on the exercise. (Or, said editor just coincidentally likes Galbraith's work enough to champion his "quiet" book. More likely: the editor recognized Rowling's writing, coming through the same agent and all...)

So, the book goes out as a debut by an unknown and, like 99.999999% of unknown writers, receives minimal support (not expected to be a bestseller without her brand attached) and sells slowly. (BTW, her 500 pbooks a month average is actually pretty good under the circumstances.)

Now, what is unknown at this point is how many at the publisher knew wrote the book and what kind of plans (read: print runs) they had for it. They may have chosen to honor her intent and treated it exactly like any other midlist newcomer (5-figure print run) or they may have expected or planned for what happened and prepared several warehouses full of copies, waiting for her to be outed.

If the pbook pipeline is quickly filled with millions of copies in response to the outing, then it will be clear the knowledge went deep and the plan to out her (willingly or not is unclear) was part of the reason Little, Brown took on the book. At which point it will be fully clear to Rowling that, while she is indeed a good enough writer to make the ranks of the midlist on merit, what most peope are buying is her brand, not the book. Which is nothing shameful since she built that brand honestly through hard work and business savvy.

It's an interesting experiment but until we know exacty who knew what when we can't pass judgment. It might all be just an elaborate publicity scheme or an experiment that ran its course, but I at least don't believe that her outing was anything but a publisher orchestrated move; there is simply too much money at stake for them to let her stay anonymous for long.

Generally speaking, that probably doesn't work as most publishers insist on "right of first refusal" with "next book." Now, she has the power to have that taken out of a contract, but if it's in there, she would have had to submit it to her current publisher first. Of course she might have done so with the fake name...and they might have turned it down, which would be even more amusing...although might get her in some legal trouble. Then again, I doubt the contract specified she had to use her own name.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:47 PM   #97
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Mulholland will publish a second book in the series next summer, said Reagan Arthur, publisher of Hachette's Little, Brown & Co., in a prepared statement. She also said that "The Cuckoo's Calling" is being reprinted and that the edition will state that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...812807942.html
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:45 PM   #98
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I am reading the book - about a third into it - and am liking it very much so far. The first few pages are a little clumsy but then it starts finding its way very nicely.

And I admire Rowling for doing it - she obviously does NOT need the money - writing it proves she really does love writing. Good for her and good for us. I for one hope she keeps it up.

Cheers

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Old 07-18-2013, 05:56 PM   #99
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Looks like the leak came from a law firm: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...m_hp_ref=books
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #100
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Looks like the leak came from a law firm: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...m_hp_ref=books
From Rowling's statement it looks like somebody is in deep trouble.
(And that the publisher did not have a warehouse full, just waiting.)
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:44 PM   #101
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Isn't it terrible that she felt she could trust the law firm and this happened. Lucky for us readers we don't have that problem, we can trust authors to write accurate bios and not make things. I'd hate to buy a book thinking, this author must know their stuff based on their background only to find it's all made up
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:03 PM   #102
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Isn't it terrible that she felt she could trust the law firm and this happened. Lucky for us readers we don't have that problem, we can trust authors to write accurate bios and not make things. I'd hate to buy a book thinking, this author must know their stuff based on their background only to find it's all made up
You are sooo right. None of us, not a one of us, would make up a story.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:14 PM   #103
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Business Rusch has a detailed analysis of what Rowling was doing.

http://kriswrites.com/2013/07/17/the...me-the-writer/



Quote:
Bachman was born in a different publishing era. No computer programs to compare the sentences, no quick and easy access, no anonymous tweets to a newspaper outing the author. Bachman had a chance to build a fan base, and he did: by the time the pre-King announcement had been made, the sales on Richard Bachman books had more than doubled, from an early print run of about 20,000 books to 40,000 books for Thinner. Bachman was slowly building a name, a reputation, and a midlist success.

He was doing what King wanted him to do: He was providing a safe place for King to experiment. In “The Importance of Being Bachman,” his 1996 introduction to The Bachman Books, King wrote:

The importance of being Bachman was always the importance of finding a good voice and a valid point of view that were a little different from my own. Not really different; I am not schizo enough to believe that. But I do believe that there are tricks all of us use to change our perspectives and our perceptions – to see ourselves new by dressing up in different clothes and doing our hair in different styles – and that such tricks can be very useful, a way of revitalizing and refreshing old strategies for living life, observing life, and creating art. …I love what I do too much to want to go stale if I can help it. Bachman has been one way in which I have tried to refresh my craft, and to keep from being too comfy and well-padded.


Sound familiar? There are echoes of this in J.K. Rowling’s public statements about being outted as Robert Galbraith. She said:

I hoped to keep this secret a little longer, because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience! It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback from publishers and readers under a different name.

Quote:

Clearly Galbraith wasn’t conceived as a short-term alias either; Rowling had sold another book under that name, and she was planning to slowly build a series. I’m sure her reaction to the outing was similar to King’s, no matter what she says in public.

Her experiment was working; she was getting good reviews and the book was selling exactly the way a hardcover mystery novel with a bad cover sells in England. Little Brown UK told The Bookseller.com that The Cuckoo’s Calling (which was released in April) sold 1,400 print copies and 800 ebooks domestically, plus 2,000 export copies and 3,800 audio downloads. That’s a good run for a first British mystery. Time’s article claims that the book sold 500 copies in the US according to Bookscan (which only tracks about 50% of sales). Galbraith was on the right kind of growth track for a classic mystery novel.

Before she knew who Galbraith was, bestselling mystery writer Val McDermid blurbed the book, saying, “The Cuckoo’s Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place.”

After she found out who wrote it, McDermid laughed. She had no idea. She had liked the book so much that she had invited Galbraith to speak on a panel, only to be told he was unavailable.

Writers—readers—don’t do that if they don’t like the book.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:25 PM   #104
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Isn't it terrible that she felt she could trust the law firm and this happened. Lucky for us readers we don't have that problem, we can trust authors to write accurate bios and not make things. I'd hate to buy a book thinking, this author must know their stuff based on their background only to find it's all made up
You were expecting a textbook for security work or military police tactics and methods?

And of course the author was hiding her identity which has never been done, well not if you ignore the thousands who have. Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain springs to mind.

And you feel that lawyers have no restrictions on revealing confidential information it seems. perhaps that is the type you will want if you ever need one.

Helen
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:25 PM   #105
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Still, one point that is interesting in all that--publishers don't necessarily go to big names like Val McDermid for a blurb for just any author. So even with a different name she had the marketing dept behind her. Getting blurbs is big business too.

It doesn't say anything about the book or writing, but it isn't *quite* the same as just any old new author either.
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