Perhaps it’s fitting to find out on Harry Potter’s birthday that JK Rowling has decided what to do with the profits of The Cuckoo’s Calling written under the pseudonym Robert Gailbraith. As questioned in a previous post, Rowling chose to create a fake bio for Gailbraith that included military service that helped authenticate the subject of the book. Some of the profits for the Gailbraith book will go to The Soldiers’ Charity.

The statement issued on Rowling’s behalf can be found on The Soldiers’ Charity webpage. Rowling states:

“This donation is being made to The Soldiers’ Charity partly as a thank you to the army people who helped me with research, but also because writing a hero who is a veteran has given me an even greater appreciation and understanding of exactly how much this charity does for ex-servicemen and their families, and how much that support is needed.

“I always intended to give The Soldiers’ Charity a donation out of Robert’s royalties but I had not anticipated him making the bestseller list a mere three months after publication (indeed, I had not counted on him ever being there!)”

According to the statement, the donation will consist of the profit of the book sales for the next three years. The announcement of the donation follows quickly after the controversy of the pseudonym and fake bio. Most websites have now gotten rid of the bio, but it can still be found here.

Galbraith Bio

Again, we have to wonder if it made it a bigger deal that she used a military background to her pen name persona? The donation is made in good faith, and certainly goes a long way to quell any discomfort from those who question the use of military service. The book has already soared in book sales after the reveal of her true identity, so we could assume that the charity that provides lifelong services to those who have served in the military will have a considerable donation.

Rowling also sued her lawyer and law firm that let the information out in the first place. The law firm is also making a donation to The Soldiers’ Charity.

Great speculation has been made about whether the reveal was intentional or not. With the same editor and publisher involved, it could be said that the whole thing was a true attempt to see first thoughts on the work with the intent to reveal the true authorship to gain readers and profits. That’s at least the cynical take on the situation. But everyone is allowed to misjudge or make mistakes. It’s in the rectifying that we may find acceptance. And with Rowling making some amends through her generous donation, perhaps we can put to bed the whole incident.

Advertisements