Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’, actually J. K. Rowling’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ has shot to the Number 1 position on Amazon and almost every bestseller list since last week’s shocking revelation of its author’s true identity. Released in April 2013, the book had mediocre sales until the news wires buzzed with the name of its true author. So why is it number 1 now, but wasn’t before?
J K Rowling herself is angry and disappointed by this leak. But I am sure many readers have wondered if this was a deliberately designed marketing gimmick. Well, it has certainly done wonders for the book. A number 1 slot is a dream for most new and unknown authors, and getting there within 3 months highly improbable if not impossible. According to this BBC article, The Cuckoo’s Calling had sold a modest 1500 copies before the leak. It jumped almost 5000 places to get the Number 1 slot on Amazon.
So can any good work with barely 59 reviews get this popular? Or is it just Rowling’s name that is getting it there? J K Rowling’s earlier release The Casual Vacancy is ranked almost 500 with 3600+ reviews. As I mentioned in my review of the Casual Vacancy earlier, people might hate it, but they still want to read it. That’s the way it generally happens with famous authors, I think. They sell a few thousand books just based on their brand popularity. And statistically, they get some high praise which propels them higher.
Last year’s big seller Gone Girl has been in Amazon’s Top 100 for over 400 days and it has some 12000+ reviews. Touted by many critics as an excellent work and praised for high concept and technique, this is one book that keeps you turning pages and shocks the most blasé reader. Does The Cuckoo’s Calling promise us the same?
Although I wasn’t too taken with The Casual Vacancy, I have been a J K Rowling fan for more than a decade. I have fond memories of standing in line at Borders and Barnes and Noble (some of them have ended, just like the Potter books), waiting eagerly for midnight to strike, then rushing home and burning the midnight oil reading my pristine first edition. Does the latest from J K Rowling warrant such attention and praise? Is it going to give you days’ worth of water cooler gossip, and probably become a Hollywood blockbuster?
Only time will tell. Meanwhile, you can tell me why you think The Cuckoo’s Calling is number 1! When are you reading it, and do you think it has earned this spot? Sound off in the comments below, because everyone wants to know.