The Harry Potter fandom and the publishing world had a big surprise earlier this month when The Sunday Times revealed that a little known book called The Cuckoo’s Calling, supposedly written by début author Robert Galbraith, was in fact the work of the one-and-only J.K. Rowling!
The crime novel was published in April and garnered some rave reviews before the outing of the real author. The news spread like wildfire and its modest sales skyrocketed, sending it straight to the top of bestseller lists.
Some speculated whether it was all a clever marketing strategy by the publisher, but the real story was soon revealed: a partner at a legal firm working with Rowling on the novel had told his wife about the true identity of Robert Galbraith, who disclosed it to her friend, who then informed a Sunday Times journalist.
JKR had this to say on her website:
“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. The upside of being rumbled is that I can publicly thank my editor David Shelley, who has been a true partner in crime, all those people at Little, Brown who have been working so hard onThe Cuckoo’s Calling without realising that I wrote it, and the writers and reviewers, both in the newspapers and online, who have been so generous to the novel. And to those who have asked for a sequel, Robert fully intends to keep writing the series, although he will probably continue to turn down personal appearances.”
She later expressed anger at the nature in which the leak had come about.
Signed first edition copies of the book, of which there are very few, have since been selling at auction for up to £4000 ($6000).