So we've all heard the news about J.K. Rowling publishing a book under a pseudonym, right? The Cuckoos Calling by "Robert Galbraith". Slash J.K. Rowling.
Anyway, ever since the news broke I've been seeing all these articles about what a terrible sign this is for newbie and aspiring authors. People saying stuff like OH MY WORD EVEN ROWLING CAN'T SELL BOOKS. People saying that if even Rowling can't have a hit, what's there for the rest of us?
I think this is totally bologna. Totally the wrong way of looking at it.
What I think this actually does is show how level is the playing field. Let's not use Harry Potter as the example for success for a second. Let's define writerly success as having a book accepted, published, be critically well-received and sell moderately well. We'd all be fine with a career made of that, right? So J.K. Rowling did that plus some with Harry Potter, obviously. And then she did it again.
As far as I know The Cuckoos Calling sold okay, and the critics liked it much more than Casual Vacancy. Honestly I think this is a brilliant move by Rowling, and a chance for her to get some unbiased response, some feedback without her name getting in the way.
I think what this whole thing proves is that you don't have to be J.K. Rowling to be successful. Robert Galbraith is us, is a newbie author who worked hard and produced a good book, got it published, and had some people like it. But comparing it to Harry Potter of course makes it look like a failure.
All in all, I applaud Rowling for a smart move. So maybe the level of success for this book is not the same level as Harry Potter. Maybe it's not even enough to found a career. But its a great place to start one, and you don't have to be J.K. Rowling to do it.
Thoughts? What do you think about this new development?