henry copeland: How a first time author gets treated. pllqt.it/uW4ghD
JK Rowling's flash back to being a newbie[…]“The Cuckoo’s Calling[…]was treated like any new novel by a first-time writer. Little, Brown sent out bound galleys and talked it up to retailers, as they do with all new titles. We aim for all of our books to reach the widest possible audience and make every effort to market and publicize each title in a way that connects it with that audience.” I spoke to several book retailers, at both large chains and independent stores, and not one could recall seeing an advance reading copy, or hearing anything from the Little, Brown sales representatives.“There was absolutely no buzz,” Ms. Coady said. “There was no direct correspondence from the editor or a publicist. We didn’t hear anything from the sales representatives. They’ll usually tell us that there are five to 10 books on their list that we want to make sure you read. They know our customers and what they like, so we trust them. This book wasn’t one of them. I don’t know if we bought any copies. Maybe one.”[…]The publisher procured two quotes, or blurbs, for its news release, one from the Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, the other from the English novelist and actor Mark Billingham, who said, perhaps all too presciently, that the book was “so instantly compelling it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel.” Booksellers said Little, Brown could have rustled up more prominent authors, including at least one American. […]I asked Little, Brown for reviews that appeared before the identity of the author was known, and the only examples it provided were from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist, all trade publications. Several newspapers reviewed it in London, but no mainstream American book critic did. The early reviews were positive — far more so than those for “Casual Vacancy” — which must have been heartening to Ms. Rowling. But those in Publishers Weekly and Booklist were a single paragraph, and they failed to generate much buzz or help it stand out from the masses of genre fiction published each year.