Rant Around the Camp

August 16, 2013

Maybe I’m being harsh or maybe not. Does it piss anybody else off that J.K. Rowling actually tried to pass herself off as a “new” writer? Or the pseudo-anger at being found out?

Let me explain something. How many “new” writers have a publisher? Not Harvey Finkel who for $2000. will print enough copies to distribute a handful of books to the press, but a real publisher who throws himself into your work? A publisher who would take a bullet for you because you’ve made him a rich man under your real pen name? Simple quick answer is none.

So that starts the anger. If you truly wanted to “start fresh” you would go the route of agony that other new writers go. Submissions, queries, denials…the merry-go-round of psychological beatings handed out by the literary world.
To be fair, she did try other publishers at first…and was rejected. But unlike real “new” writers, she ran to her own publisher to get it out.

So let’s move past that appetizer of bullshit and on to the main course. The books are not that good. They opened to mixed reviews that leaned more towards the “disappointed” side and sales were not phenomenal. A lot of critics panned the book. It sold less than 500 copies. Yes, the book was dismal.

So now, mysteriously in the muck of all these reviews and bad sales, the New York Times says “the book seemed almost too assured and sophisticated to be a first novel”. Really?

Then they launch a full investigation for a book that had sold under 500 copies and mixed reviews. Yeah, that happens every day.

“Ms. Rowling was unmasked by The Sunday Times of London, which, acting on an anonymous tip, embarked on a sleuthing mission of its own and published the result on Sunday. In the article, Ms. Rowling confessed to the ruse and spoke somewhat wistfully of her brief, happy foray into anonymous authorship.”

The last line in particular made me laugh. Happy foray? The book was being used to line bird cages.

And so the great J.K.Rowling was revealed and what happened? Well now, sales are through the roof with a more than 5,000% increase. You can’t find an article anywhere about the book that doesn’t mention her name. She’s once again the reigning queen of literature…and she’s angry?

“To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm, and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced,” she added.

Yeah, I know how angry I would be if my book went from mediocre to best seller.

Russells said it had contacted Rowling’s agent as soon as the story emerged: “We, Russells Solicitors, apologise unreservedly for the disclosure caused by one of our partners, Chris Gossage, in revealing to his wife’s best friend, Judith Callegari, during a private conversation that the true identity of Robert Galbraith was in fact JK Rowling. Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly.”

It added: “We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither JK Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved.”

Now why would you have to add that statement at the moment the story was released. That’s like walking into the kitchen, seeing your 3 year old with a cookie and not seeing the cookie jar and hearing her say “I got a cookie but I didn’t break the jar.” Riiiiiiiiiiight.

I don’t begrudge J.K.Rowling’s success. But try to remember what it was like before Harry Potter took off. How the faith in your work was chipped away by every rejection letter, every closed door. Don’t stand there and say you’re a “new” writer. It’s an affront to every one of us struggling to try and make it like you have. You got discovered and made it and that’s great. I know how much you give back to the world as well. I know you’re a decent person.

Now just remember how it was before 1997.

Quotes from:


Accurate sales from:



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