Robert Galbraith official website and Twitter launched

UK Cover of The Cuckoo's Calling

UK Cover of The Cuckoo’s Calling

The official website and Twitter account for Robert Galbraith, the pseudonym of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, has launched.

The website (www.robert-galbraith.com) includes the synopsis and reviews of The Cuckoo’s Calling and an author biography that simply states that Galbraith is a pseudonym for Rowling, along with an F.A.Q section. In this section, Rowling answers some questions about the book, writing under a pseudonym, and the book’s sequel.

From the site:

Why did you choose to write a crime novel and why under a pseudonym?

I’ve always loved reading detective fiction. Most of the Harry Potter stories are whodunits at heart (‘Order of the Phoenix’ is more of a why-did-he), but I’ve wanted to try the real thing for a long time.

As for the pseudonym, I was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer.

Why did you choose to write it as a man? Did it influence your writing in anyway?

I certainly wanted to take my writing persona as far away as possible from me, so a male pseudonym seemed a good idea. I am proud to say, though, that when I ‘unmasked’ myself to my editor David Shelley who had read and enjoyed ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ without realizing I wrote it, one of the first things he said was ‘I never would have thought a woman wrote that.’ Apparently I had successfully channeled my inner bloke!

Was revealing the true identity of Robert Galbraith not simply an elaborate marketing campaign to help boost sales?

If anyone had seen the labyrinthine plans I laid to conceal my identity (or indeed my expression when I realised that the game was up!) they would realise how little I wanted to be discovered. I hoped to keep the secret as long as possible. I’m grateful for all the feedback from publishers and readers, and for some great reviews. Being Robert Galbraith has been all about the work, which is my favourite part of being a writer. This was not a leak or marketing ploy by me, my publisher or agent, both of whom have been completely supportive of my desire to fly under the radar. If sales were what mattered to me most, I would have written under my own name from the start, and with the greatest fanfare.

At the point I was ‘outed’, Robert had sold 8500 English language copies across all formats (hardback, eBook, library and audiobook) and received two offers from television production companies. The situation was becoming increasingly complicated, largely because Robert was doing rather better than we had expected him to, but we all still hoped to keep the secret a little longer. Yet Robert’s success during his first three months as a published writer (discounting sales made after I was found out) actually compares favourably with J.K. Rowling’s success over the equivalent period of her career!

Rowling also reveals that she has just finished the sequel to Cuckoo, and it is suspected to be published next year. You can click to read more of Rowling’s answers to the F.A.Q.’s here.

As stated above, a Twitter account was also launched, and you can check “him” out @_RGalbraith. Hopefully he’ll be tweeting a little more than his creator! 🙂

Over the past weekend, J.K. Rowling was outed as the real author of The Cuckoo’s Calling over the weekend by a Sunday Times editor. You can read her statement regarding the situation, a synopsis of the book and more here, at our page dedicated to the book.

Happy Thursday!

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Pottermore CEO talks ‘Chamber of Secrets’ and shares site stats

A recent article in The Bookseller revealed some new information about the release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Pottermore and site statistics. Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne also contributed, sharing additional reports on the Pottermore Shop.

“Over the past two weeks we’ve seen sales settle down, but they remain very significant, and way beyond what we originally budgeted for.” He [CEO Charlie Redmayne] added that sales of the physical copies of the seven titles had also increased, and that because of the site’s light-touch Digital Rights Management, piracy had diminished.

“Obviously there were fears piracy would increase as a result of being DRM-free, and that sales of the e-books would cannibalise sales of the physical titles, but we were delighted to see sales of the physical books go up, and piracy come down.”

In the article, they reported that Pottermore.com (the “experience”) was visited 22 million times from 7 million unique visitors in the first two weeks of launch. The site has generated 1bn page ‘impressions’ with the average user spending 25 minutes on the site, visiting 47 pages.

Redmayne said there had been 4.2m attempts to make potions, with a success rate of just 32%. In those first two weeks there had been 39.9m “wizard duels” with the “full body bind” spell the most popular, and “pimple jinx” the least used. He said that after two weeks 5m new users had registered, with perhaps half of those already sorted into houses, such as Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

Redmayne also added that the release of book two, The Chamber of Secrets, was still “weeks away”, as previously reported, and that they will be adding new interactive games and programs in the next few weeks. Hopefully in the very near future we will see some new content from J.K. Rowling!