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How To Use J. K. Rowling's Misfortune As A Deliberate Publicity Technique

This year (2013) the Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling wrote a crime novel entitled The Cuckoo's Calling, but she did it under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The book only sold 1,500 copies under that name, but Rowling wasn't interested in sales and instead was more interested in keeping her anonymity and being able to write as a supposedly new and unknown author rather than having to write under her real name which would have burdened her with high expectations from other people and put a lot of pressure on her. Unfortunately the real identity of the 'Robert Galbraith' was revealed and sales of the book shot up.

Although this happened much to Rowling's annoyance and without her permission, you can see the potential for using 'an unexpected identity revelation' as a publicity-creating technique for raising the sales of creative works such as books, films, music, etc. However, you will also realize that the technique can only work if the identity revelation reveals that some famous, or perhaps unexpected, person was responsible for producing the creative work. (In the latter case, this may not be a good thing. Apparently someone once said to Damien Hirst that one of his spin paintings looked as though it had been done - or could have been done - by a child, and Hirst said - joking or otherwise - that it had indeed been done by one of his children.)

So, try getting your creative work noticed - and selling - by initially announcing that it has been done by one person, and then suddenly announcing that it was in fact done by someone else.

And as your initial announcement wasn't true, perhaps even your second announcement doesn't have to be true!

Marketing | Literature


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