Rowling’s new book

As some of you may know, J.K. Rowling recently published a new book under a pseudonym. The Cuckoo’s Calling.

This is a great article featuring Jodi Picoult (and others) that talks about how that situation affects publishing and what it really means to them. Here are some of the quotes that got me thinking about it too.

“A lot of good books aren’t successful, and a lot of not-so-good books are.” Said Arthur Golden, of Brookline, the best-selling author of Memoirs of a Geisha.

David Cameron, an aspiring writer and spokesman for Harvard Medical School, has tested the vagaries of the current publishing world. Last year, he copied a short story that had been published in The New Yorker and sent it to literary magazines across the country for consideration. Every magazine rejected the story, not because it had already been published but because it did not meet their criteria.

(I’m sorry, what is that you say?? You’re kidding. That’s like the guy who plays for the most famous orchestra in the world going to play his violin in the subway and getting $2 for it. That’s a quick and dirty summary of this book btw.)

We judge books by their covers all the time. When we pick up a book, we like to know who wrote it. If there is a buzz about who wrote it, we like to be a part of the buzz. The context is just as important as the words,” he said. “Rowling is not just a writer, she’s an institution, an ethos. She’s a magnet. That’s just the way the world works. It’s just a reminder that personality is so essential.

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