On fame and pseudonyms and the influence they provide

I am sure you have heard by now that J. K. Rowling successfully published another novel The Cuckoo’s Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. I think that is amazing. I really do. Publishing a book because you want people who it attracts from the reviews and the blurb to read, not because it has been written by one of the most influential authors of the last decade.

Before Rowling was acknowledged as the author it had reached 1500 sales and since the knowledge was revealed yesterday she has already sold over 5000 copies and hit the top of the amazon best selling charts. One editor has admitted to turning Rowling down stating that it “was perfectly decent, but quiet”.

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No hint of Hogwarts

What really gets me is Rowling herself wanted to keep it a secret. She wanted the pseudonym to remain in tact for longer than it did. She is not trying to sell more books just off the back of the image she has created for herself through the world of Harry and Hogwarts. This is a woman who is so passionate about writing that she would rather publish a book in secret than through her fame and influence.

It is interesting to think that if we go back 200 years to when female authors like Jane Austen and a bit later the Bronte sisters were trying to publish their works they had no choice but to publish under a pseudonym. Curer Bell was an easy enough way to get your work out to the public without any of the stigma attached to being an author making its way back into your public life. How times have changed!

I am sure that the influential authors using pseudonyms to hide their gender would approve of Rowling’s use of Robert Galbraith in order to make her work available to those who would chose it.

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