Friday, 19 July 2013

Debut authors

I don't know about you but I was intrigued to hear the J K Rowling had written a thriller and published it under a false name. How did the book fare, I wondered? Well, here are the closing comments of an article in the Guardian newspaper by Mark Lawson -

"For the moment, we are left with an enjoyable, highly professional crime novel that has escaped from the aim its author had for it but taken on a massive new significance for readers. Many pseudonymous novels are intended to make a point: Doris Lessing, in 1984, submitted a manuscript under the name Jane Somers, its rejection by her regular publishers proving to her that the literary business defers to famous names.

While Rowling does not seem to have tested her publishers by sending in a book under cover - now there would be a tense and interesting experiment - her experience with The Cuckoo's Calling does seem to show that unknown first time novelists are likely to get nice reviews but zero publicity and low sales: the novel was pottering along selling mere hundreds of copies until it started Pottering along.

Already one of the most fascinating figures in the history of popular fiction, J K Rowling has become even more intriguing with this brief by neat vanishing trick. Lucky, though, are those few who read it in the purity of obscurity rather than the distracting glare of hindsight."

For the full article, see:

The picture was taken yesterday in the walled garden at Wallington in Northumberland.

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