Tag Archives: Publishers Weekly

The veil has been lifted: The secret behind The Cuckoo’s Calling

Of course while I’ve been immersed in study, the dynamic world of publishing has gone through many twists and turns. Suffice it to say, I’m well aware that there is much industry news to catch up on, including the most intriguing story of the pseudonymously authored The Cuckoo’s Calling. I know that I’ve certainly missed the boat on the “breaking news” aspect of this delightful story, but as an ardent fan of Ms. Rowling, it would be impossible for me to not write a gushing post about her exciting new venture into the world of mystery. An apt weaver of interlocking stories, with an uncanny skill for tying the most seemingly unremarkable tidbits of information into an intricate overarching tale, I am certain that Rowling’s mystery will thrill and delight with the same intensity as her fantasy.

When I first read the news in Publishers Weekly that the author of the series of books that had the most formative impact on my childhood, youth, and let’s face it adulthood was authoring a new series my book lover’s heart gave a distinct flutter of joy. I had to smile at her statement to BBC News that “being Robert Galbraith [was] such a liberating experience.” She also spoke of the joy of “publish[ing] without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure of getting feedback from publishers and readers under a different name.” A celebrated novelist with worldwide acclaim, she did not want her latest work to be picked up based on the notoriety associated with her name and her previous literary successes. Instead, she wanted to inspire that exquisite curiosity and hunger in readers, to ignite their bookish passions based solely on the innumerable merits of her artful mastery of the written word and to discover the world created by a seemingly unknown author. I find this to be yet another feather in her cap as a true writer.

Under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling made it into the hands of approximately 500 people, according to Publishers Weekly. Once her secret was out however, Rowling’s mystery skyrocketed in sales by “5,000 places to top Amazon’s sales list.”  Of course there was something quite suspect about a novel crafted with all the telltale signs of a veteran, purportedly authored by a novice and she was certain to be found out sooner or later. The hype surrounding The Cuckoo’s Calling emptied bookshelves across the nation. The original 10,000 print run was clearly going to need some serious augmentation, and publisher, Little, Brown did just that when they went back to the presses for an impressive and merited 300,000 print run.

I am overdue for a trip to the bookstore to purchase my copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling and sink into Rowling’s intriguing new tale. A master of language, characters, and plot development Rowling is certain to have woven that indefinable literary brilliance that is so distinctly her own into the tale of war veteran turned private detective, Cormoran Strike and his quest to unearth the truth behind the death of a famed model. With book in hand I will retreat into a hibernation-like state, ignoring all those around me, completely engrossed in the world of Rowling’s creation. The immersive and absorbing quality of her writing is what makes her such an incredible writer, and my personal favorite. I’m predicting another series that will take the reading world by storm, that will add fuel to the passions of ardent readers, kindle the flames of lapsed readers, and ignite the curiosity and excitement of new readers. How can I predict such a phenomenon? The Cuckoo told me so.

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Gearing up for Gatsby?

With the upcoming release of Director Baz Luhrmann’s version of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, this 1920’s classic is receiving an influx of renewed attention from readers. According to Publishers Weekly, CoverCake, a company that tracks trending topics on major social media platforms, listed The Great Gatsby as #5 on their list of Top-10 Books in Social Media for April 2013.

I myself have been contemplating rummaging through my library to pluck out the classic for a long overdue re-read. Isn’t it wonderful what putting a book into a new medium can do to revitalize interest in the book itself?

It is a reader’s quirk of mine to refuse to watch a movie unless I have read the book first. I feel that there is nothing more detrimental to the creative and imaginative conversation that goes on between the characters of a novel and the reader than to watch the movie version first. I’m sure that many will disagree with me on this, but it is a deeply rooted belief of mine and one that I will stick to for Gatsby.

Though I have already read Fitzgerald’s classic depiction of the Roaring Twenties, I feel that I would be remiss not to open the spine once again and let those powerful words wash over me once more before going to see Luhrmann’s version.

What are your thoughts? To read or not to read?

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Chasing the Dream

It has long been my dream to be a part of an industry that shares the captivating words of talented writers with an audience of eager and impassioned readers. In this blog I will chronicle my quest to prove myself worthy of a spot in the book publishing industry. In one short month I will be leaving my Texas roots for New York City to attend NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute.

This I’m sure sounds like a million other stories of wide-eyed, naive young professionals striving to make it big in NYC. It is my sincere hope that I can amount to more than that stereotype and that I can come up with content witty and engaging enough to actually get people interested in my story.

Who will save our books? Copyright James Patterson-Publishers WeeklyThough the face of the industry is changing, something I read today sparked a great sense of hope in me. James Patterson’s bold ad in Publishers Weekly highlights the serious lack of action surrounding the decline of books with the question “Who will save our books?”. His message is both an ardent support of books and a catalyst prompting much needed attention and focus on this troubling issue.

This is what I want to fight for. I want the children today to grow up with the same fervent love for the written word that I had as a child. I want that love to be nurtured and fueled by the profound words of the authors they read. I want our society to be aware of the paramount importance that should be placed on revitalizing the love of books.

This is not an issue that we should sit back quietly on, shaking our heads and saying ‘What a shame.’ We need to fight. Fight for the beautiful and powerful words that dance through the minds of authors. Fight for the transformative influence those words will have on their readers. Fight for a resurgence of the book in a world that is dangerously teetering on the edge of losing its understanding of their great importance.

It is with this sense of drive, determination, and purpose that I will pursue my dream of a position in book publishing. I know that I have much to learn and I am excited for all the lessons that will come out of my experience at NYU. I will begin this journey with the steadfast conviction that I will join this industry as another voice that will speak loudly for books and will refuse to be quelled.

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