Question: When is a rose not a rose? Answer: When J.K. Rowling says it’s not.
Rowling has reinvented herself as a mystery writer. Having myself created a heroine, Kim Reynolds, who sees the need for reinvention, I do not fault Rowling.
Rowling has done something that writers often do. Choosing to write in a new genre, she decided to use a nom de plume, a pseudonym. Clearly, she did not want to be pigeon-holed as a writer of young adult fiction or even literary fiction. Imagine her surprise when the publishing world did not instantly fall all over itself to turn THE CUCKOO’S CALLING into a bestseller. As a novel by “Robert Galbraith” the book sold modestly. When someone mysteriously leaked the real identity of the author to the TIMES of
, and Rowling verified the story, the book shot up to
number one on the bestseller list. London
I believe this demonstrates that selling books, particularly fiction in hardcover, has become increasingly difficult. If readers are going to spend good money on mystery fiction, for instance, they want name recognition, a “brand” as it were. Fame still brings fortune in the book publishing industry. Even great reviews which are often rare as rubies do not necessarily guarantee successful publication.
The publishing industry is in a state of uncertainty. Will print go the way of the dinosaur as some predict? Will hardcover, trade and paperbacks be almost completely replaced by ebooks? Selfishly, I hope not. I hate the idea of print becoming obsolete.
But writers must be open to change and diversity. Even famous writers like Rowling are willing to work in a variety of genres. I believe Rowling is correct, that writers should publish in more than one form of media. With this in mind, for instance, a collection of my short stories, BEYOND THE BO TREE, has been made available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DTV0750.
In September, my co-authored mystery novel THE THIRD EYE will be published by Five Star/Gale in hardcover:http://www.gale.cengage.com/servlet/ItemDetailServletregion=9&imprint=000&titleCode=TP906&cf=p&type=3&id=15903222
Also in September, Harlequin Worldwide Mystery brings out a paperback reprint, the third of my novels they have republished this year, DEATH LEGACY, a spy thriller: http://www.harlequin.com/author.html;jsessionid=1393C3C686B0F8B9EDEDD9B62B0A54F8?authorid=2189
So what can writers learn from Rowling’s latest effort as an author? Perhaps that we should not be afraid to venture into new territory and try something different, and that we should never become complacent.
. As readers and writers where do you feel the future of publishing is headed? What would you like to see happen?
To celebrate the forthcoming publication of THE THIRD EYE, at least one responder will be selected at random to receive a signed Advance Review Copy—just include an email address.