Saturday, 31 August 2013

J.K. Rowling, please say you wrote my book too

Have you been following the latest J.K. Rowling business?

How a book that was credited to a writer named Robert Galbraith (called I believe The Cuckoo's Calling)  turned out to have been written by J.K. Rowling.

What I find interesting is how all of a sudden, a book that wasn't setting the world on fire as far as sales went has suddenly become a global bestseller, just because it turned out to have been written by...well a global bestseller.

Now there's all sorts of discussions that could spin off this. We could talk about what it is that makes a book good or not. We could talk about the influence of the name of the writer on the perception of a book. We could talk about the criteria readers use to select the books they choose to buy (and the image of a farm animal covered in wool does come to mind). But I'm not. I've got something much more simple as the focus of this post.

This is a request to J.K. Rowling - please say that you wrote my book too.

Because if we're talking about books whose sales are not setting the world on fire, I reckon that's me in a nutshell. I suspect my book is doing exactly the opposite - what would you call it - setting the world on ice? But with the name of someone like the mighty J.K. associated with it, light the rockets and get ready for take-off.

Ok, so maybe there's the small issues of royalties, but I'm sure we could come to an arrangement on that. Maybe I could hand over some percentage. She doesn't seem to need much, so I'm sure it wouldn't be too onerous. I hear she's very into giving to charities, so that's something I'm more than happy to support.

There you have it. A sure fire way to rocket me - oops I mean her - into the bestseller lists again. So how about it, J.K? What have you got to lose? Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, why not say that you wrote my book too.



  1. Of course the thing is J K Rowling did in fact write The Cuckoo's Calling. She’s had nothing to do with your books. But then we have the expression “associated with” and as soon as some celebrity becomes “associated with” a project suddenly people start to see it in a different light. In the book world that comes from the endorsement. I can assure you if J K Rowling was even seen holding a copy of your book then sales would rise. I’m always interested to see what books characters in films are reading to see if it’s a secret message or simply product placement. Of course now that Rowling’s attained a certain level of success (that’s putting it mildly) she’s guaranteed an audience and she would have to write a lot of bad novels before her most devoted fans would start looking elsewhere. I’ll give you an example: Tangerine Dream. I started collected their albums when I was about twenty and I’ve got over sixty of them and that’s nowhere near a complete collection. The thing is, a lot of the later stuff isn’t really that good. The covers are pretty—they do do nice covers—but that’s about it. It stopped being about the music a long time ago and it came to be about the collection. It’s like Harry Potter: who wasn’t going to buy the last couple of books when they’d read the first five? What irks me is the fact that they’ve managed to drag out The Hobbit into three films. Why? Because there’s a ready market. I’ve seen every film (and every episode too if it comes to that) and I will watch anything that comes out no matter how bad the reviews. It’s all to do with reputation. All the above have one: we don’t. It has nothing to do with quality or whether we’re nice guys or deserve a leg up or anything. Nothing succeeds like success.

    1. Hi Jim,

      Maybe if I snuck some references to wizards and muggles, I could make a stronger claim.

      Have a good week.

      PS - agree with you about the Hobbit - thought the first film was so bad I don't think I'll bother with the others.