Friday, July 19, 2013

An Author Revealed and the Effects of Delayed Print Copies of The Cuckoo’s Calling on Retailers

This week it was revealed that author Robert Galbraith is really J. K. Rowling. From Entertainment Weekly -

"In a statement to The Sunday Times of London, which followed up an anonymous tip with some literary sleuthing, Rowling fessed up that she is indeed Galbraith: “I had 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 under a different name.”

"Despite some sterling reviews (Publisher’s Weekly declared it a “stellar debut”), the book has barely made a sales ripple either in the U.K. or the U.S. It was published stateside in late April by Muholland Books, a three-year-old imprint of Little, Brown (which released The Casual Vacancy). One expects sales to explode now that Rowling has been revealed as the true author"

While many think it was a marketing stunt, evidence points that it was not. Copies of the print book are rare and the publisher doesn’t have many in stock. They are now scrambling to crank out another 440,000 books to meet demand.

That demand may be met before those books ever hit the market though. From Yahoo Finance -

"In the meantime, however, most bookstores don’t have print copies of the book. Amazon says the hardcover will ship in one to three weeks and refers readers to Kindle if they want to read Cuckoo immediately.

"This is freaking out bricks-and-mortar booksellers who fear that by the time that they finally get print copies in, everyone will already have read it on Kindle. The New York Times quotes one store owner: “People who can’t get it as a book are going to run and get it as an ebook. By the time the books are back, two weeks from now, most people are going to have read it on some device. That really concerns me.”"

Physical bookstores will likely take a hit and sell fewer books. Could this have been prevented? Was it a marketing stunt? What do you think of famous authors writing under a pseudonym?

Yesterday my cats, Rocko and Spunky, were interviewed by Shelly Arkon’s dogs at her SITE. Can you say the truth about cats and dogs?

And your Friday inspirational photo:


A little ice to cool you off!

34 comments:

  1. Very interesting... I never understood the rational behind a pseudonym before, but in Rowling's case, I can see her point. It would be freeing just to write.

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  2. I don't think it was a stunt. She seems genuinely disturbed from what I've read.

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  3. I agree, don't think it was a stunt, just a way of writing in freedom.

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  4. She may have wanted to write anonymously without the pressure from her million fans.

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  5. I don't really think it was a marketing stunt either. She perhaps just wanted to avoid a Casual Vacancy type circus.

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  6. I don't think that Rowling's reason for writing under a pseudonym was a stunt. She took a serious hit of criticism for her first non-Harry-Potter book, and I can understand why she wrote under a different name for a different genre.

    However, the reveal sounds like it was a poorly executed marketing stunt. From my understanding, an author who uses a pseudonym still has to have their name on record somewhere so they can get paid - it shouldn't take that much "sleuthing" to find those things out, and why was he "sleuthing" in the first place?

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  7. And I don't think the marketing stunt was necessarily done with Rowling's permission .. .

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  8. This was awesome news. I considered a pseudonym until a now-popular author said my full name was excellent and should run with it. :)

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  9. I don't think Rowlings wanted her name leaked, but the publisher couldn't been better prepared, knowing at some point it would happen.

    Interesting no one seems to care about the bookstores!

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  10. I don't think it was a stunt. There was entirely too much wrong with the reveal. However, knowing that they had J.K. writing a new book, the publisher could have been better prepared in terms of print run.

    I do feel bad for the bookstores. I mean, how they supposed to stay afloat when publishers don't show support like this?

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  11. I'm feeling like Tyrean. I don't think JK was in on it, but someone wanted it leaked. Sure it's been chaotic, but in all the chaos comes all sorts of opportunity for sound bites, news clips, and free advertising.

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  12. She probably didn't want to anyone to know just yet. Too bad the publisher didn't print more books.

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  13. LOL, thanks for the ice. It's a broiler outside again today.
    I see the dilemma for bookstores, but I don't blame Rowling for writing under another name. Otherwise people would expect HP2. I wondered what she would write next but I'll probably wait and get it from the library at some point.

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  14. People are always concerned about the bookstores, but they'll still sell plenty of copies once the book's back in stock. I think the immediate future of ebooks has been exaggerated for the last few years. They exist and will continue to exist, but so will physical books. And therefore bookstores as well.

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  15. I don't think it was a stunt, either, and probably very liberating for her.

    I'll bet it takes a lot of the stress away going from J.K to "Robert">

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  16. Melissa, and since the big publishers rely on the physical stores, it seems they would want to take care of them.

    Tony, the stores that diversify will survive.

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  17. I think it's a very finding. The genre for me would make me read one if her books and not the name. That being said, I didn't buy the book.

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  18. I have more respect than ever for JK Rowling.

    Have a great weekend, Diane.

    xoRobyn

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  19. Nice ice :)

    Now I'm going to see what happens when you put dogs and cats together.

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  20. Hi Diane,

    She probably just did enjoy the liberating experience of being under a pseudonym. She hardly needs a marketing stunt.

    Sir Poops and Hair Ball did a pawsitive interview with your cats, Rocko and Spunky. Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar, approved.

    I would like to make an ice of myself.

    A good weekend to you.

    Gary

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  21. Probably not a stunt, but it's intriguing that a book not making much of a ripple needs 400,000 copies printed once a famous author's name goes out there. Understandable with all those Harry fans, but Casual Vacancy was terrible IMHO.

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  22. Hi Diane .. I'd seen JK had been exposed as the author .. I can understand the book stores frustration ..

    I still love my books .. but will get to read my Kindle this week to see what it's like ..

    Two rivals for Penny .. as modest internet stars .. superstars I see ..

    Cheers - it's cooled off a little - but the heat will be back .. Enjoy the weekend ... Hilary

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  23. Carol, it was better than expected.

    Gary, I'm pleased it's Penny approved.

    Denise, I haven't read it, but it seemed to be very polarizing.

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  24. I love this. Maybe I should reveal that I'm actually James Patterson. :-)

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  25. Yes i heard a little about this on the radio. Glad to see it all explained here. I know a successful author who writes under several pseudonyms. Like JKR she says it is much more liberating and prevents others from type casting her in one genre. She writes in many different genres.

    I'll have to check out that interview in a moment...

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  26. I don't mind Authors writing under a different name if they're looking to write different genres. If my kid's favorite Author suddenly started writing erotica or something, I'd hate for my kid to pick up one of those books in Barnes and Noble and start flipping through...

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  27. I hadn't even considered the bookshops. Hopefully some people will wait for the book - although I rarely buy hardback books, I always wait for the paperback.

    I take issue with the press declaring the book somewhat of a flop when it was under #5000 on the Amazon chart. Not high for the author of Harry Potter, but a decent début surely!

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  28. It's hard not to think of it as a marketing stunt, but I guess she's seriously trying to distance herself from the HP franchise with novels in a different genre. Her last mystery didn't do so well, from what I remember. I still need to read the HP series!

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  29. Lee - LOL!!

    Randi lee, that would be bad.

    Annalisa, it only sold 1500 print books, which is a really small amount though.

    Milo, I've not read the HP series either.

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  30. I don't think it was planned. I think she wanted the freedom to try something new. There has to be a lot of pressure to command the same expectation and wonder as her Potter series. I know Stephen King did it in the beginning of his career. It sure has made a media frenzy~

    Many fans will likely want the hard cover!

    Thanks for the cool photo! I'm now craving Shaved Ice ;D

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  31. Stunt or not, I think this gave Rowlings a good dose of publicity for her new title, which is a great title. I think I would have wanted to read it just by hearing its title and finding out it's a mystery.

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  32. I don't know the author so to me it wouldn't make a difference. I don't read much, but when I do I tend to pick the book based on the subject vs the author...but am puzzled, if she knew it would do better with her name on it, why would she leave it off initially?

    Rounding from Flat Stanley's (who's been quiet of late) to invite everyone to join me in Memory Monday
    Memory Monday, The Magic of Cardboard and Tissue Paper

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  33. JK Rowling has always seemed to me to be a genuine person. It makes sense that she wanted to publish without the huge pressure and expectation she's used to. I can understand that entirely.

    And frankly, I think it'll serve bookstores right if more people turn to Kindle to do this. Bookstores in recent years have not been the most helpful towards fledging little-known authors so this sounds like just desserts.

    But I also think that even if people buy it on Kindle, they'll still buy the physical copy. Real fans want to possess the physical book when they love the author enough.

    Jai

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  34. JK Rowling has always seemed to me to be a genuine person. It makes sense that she wanted to publish without the huge pressure and expectation she's used to. I can understand that entirely.

    And frankly, I think it'll serve bookstores right if more people turn to Kindle to do this. Bookstores in recent years have not been the most helpful towards fledging little-known authors so this sounds like just desserts.

    But I also think that even if people buy it on Kindle, they'll still buy the physical copy. Real fans want to possess the physical book when they love the author enough.

    Jai

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