Robert Galbraith AKA J.K. Rowling

The Cuckoo's CallingThe Sunday Times of London revealed this weekend that the true author of the supposed “debut” detective novel by “Robert Galbraith,” The Cuckoo’s Calling is actually J. K Rowling.

The Telegraph followed up by quoting a brave U.K. editor who admitted to rejecting the book, “I thought it was perfectly good – it was certainly well written – but it didn’t stand out. Strange as it might seem, that’s not quite enough. Editors have to fall in love with debuts. It’s very hard to launch new authors and crime is a very crowded market.”

Proving that comment, the Telegraph reports that before the true author’s name was revealed, the book may have sold fewer than 500 copies through British retailers.

Released in the U.S. on April 30 by Hachette’s mystery imprint, Mulholland Books, it received strong reviews from prepub sources; Publishers Weekly said, “In a rare feat, the pseudonymous Galbraith combines a complex and compelling sleuth and an equally well-formed and unlikely assistant with a baffling crime in his stellar debut.”

Holds are now skyrocketing in libraries; one large system now shows 450 holds on 6 copies. Another has already increased their order of 12 copies by 90 more. Those copies are likely to carry J.K. Rowling’s name; the NYT reports that the publisher has a reprint in the works with a revised author bio, “Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J. K. Rowling” and that a second book is coming next summer.

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