Robert 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.
- 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!