Monthly Archives: July 2013

JK Rowling Claims “ANGER” At Lawyer For Leaking Her Pseudonym – Righteous Indignation?

imagesIn another interesting twist, Ms Rowling has said she feels “very angry” after finding out her pseudonym Robert Galbraith was leaked by a legal firm.

As widely covered by the media, JK Rowling has penned a crime novel (The Cuckoo’s Calling, the first in a series) under the pen name “Robert Galbraith”.

As it turns out, Chris Gossage, a lawyer at her law firm Russells, told his wife’s best friend Judith Callegari, who promptly blabbed it to whoever wanted to know in the Twitter universe.

Galbraith/Rowling stated: “I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced. To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. A tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know.”

Needless to say, Russells Solicitors went into “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” mode, apologizing “unreservedly”. In good lawyerly fashion, the firm pointed out that the secret was leaked “during a private conversation” and that “the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly. On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified JK Rowling’s agent.”

Rowling reacted to the apology by suing the lawyer and the friend. Her attorney, Jenny Afia, argued in High Court of Justice that her client felt “angry and distressed that her confidences had been betrayed.”

Russells agreed to reimburse Rowling’s legal costs and to make a “substantial” donation to The Soldiers’ Charity, which helps former military personnel and their families.

What do you think – another clever marketing move?

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Blond or Blonde – That’s The Grammar Question

It sounds like a joke, but it’s actually a legitimate grammar question: How do you spell “blond“?fotolia_501453_XS

The first known use of “blond” in the English language dates back to 15th century. The word has its roots in Old French, where “blund” or “blont” referred to a color midway between golden and light chestnut.

It gradually replaced the native term “fair” which derived from the Old English fæġer.

Blond is also traced back to the Medieval Latin word “blundus” which was a vulgar pronunciation of Latin flavus meaning yellow.

In modern English, the word keeps two forms: blond for a fair-haired male, and blonde for a fair-haired female.

Blond is also the more common spelling for the adjective. Both “blond” and “blonde” are can refer to objects that have a color reminiscent of fair hair. Examples include pale wood and lager beer. Starbucks used the female form to describe one of their roasts.


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JK Rowling’s Secret Crime Novel – Clever Marketing to Boost Sales

koekkoekRobert Galbraith penned a 450-page crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling.

In the tradition of PD James and Ruth Rendell, it features sleuth Cormoran Strike, a damaged war veteran turned private detective, to investigate the death of a troubled model who falls to her death from Mayfair balcony.

The book was released in April 2013 and got positive reviews, but low sales of 1,500 copies. In July 2013, an untraceable Tweeter Jude Calligari exposed Galbraith as JK Rowling.

The result?

  • Within hours, the crime novel went up more than 5,000 places to top Amazon’s sales list.
  • The “Movers and Shakers” section of Amazon reported that book sales went up by more than 507,000%.
  • It outperforms by far the first post-Potter book (The Casual Vacancy) that Rowling wrote.
  • Excellent preparation for the release of the next Cormoran Strike book by Robert Galbraith in 2014.

Rowling claims in an interview with The Sunday Times: ‘I had hoped to keep this a secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without any hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feed-back under a different name.’

Nicely put, but I am not buying it. How I see it, once sales were not as expected, the tweetleak was a convenient way to create a (social) media storm and boost sales. This clever marketing ploy worked like magic. Chapeau!

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