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This week, J.K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame in case you are new to books) celebrated a birthday. Given recent events, I thought featuring this particular quote would be ideal.
Rowling just weathered a mini-scandal surrounding The Cuckoo's Calling, a novel she had published surreptitiously under the pen name Robert Galbraith. Her intention was to experiment with alternate writing styles under the radar without the insane attention her novels traditionally receive (as in The Casual Vacancy.)
Rumors abounded that The Cuckoo's Calling's publisher or Rowling herself were behind the leak in an effort to boost book sales. Eventually, it was discovered that the secret was revealed through a combination of investigative reporting (The Sunday Times) and a loose-lipped friend (Judith Calegarri) of one her publisher's lawyers (Chris Gossage of Russells Law Firm).
Gossage issued an apology and probably dropped Calegarri, who clearly had never heard the phrase "Snitches get stitches." Rowling, after winning a swift lawsuit against Russells Law Firm, announced her intention to donate her winnings as well as 100% of The Cuckoo's Calling's royalties to The Soldiers' Charity.
I, for one, was so pleased to know that Rowling wasn't behind the leak and am also impressed with her handling of the situation. I think it is so interesting that she is experimenting with writing different genres and I hope she continues to do so.
The Cuckoo's Calling's pre-scandal sales were paltry, but the reviews were great, which may be as much a testament to the marketing side of book-selling as anything else. Obviously, sales and pre-orders have now gone through the roof as people are clamoring to get their hands it.
So, here's to you, Jo Rowling! Happy birthday and here's hoping you will continue to live boldly and find a cool new nom de plume!