JK Rowling’s New Book: Proof That Content is NOT King! « The Blog of Matthew Loop

JK Rowling’s New Book: Proof That Content is NOT King!

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard the name Harry Potter mentioned a time or two. JK Rowling is the creative genius and author behind these best-selling fantasy novels. The books chronicle the adventures of the young wizard and his close friends.

If you haven’t read or watched the Harry Potter series, I highly recommend you check it out.

With that said, did you know that JK Rowling published a secret crime novel under a pseudonym? Going by the name Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling was released in April 2013.

So, why did JK write using a pen name when she already scaled the great wall of publishing and success?

Sources report it was simply because she wanted honest feedback on her new book.

She knew anonymity would guarantee this.

Let’s face it, when you become one of the most famous authors in history, you develop RAVING fans.

And… while they love your work, it’s much more difficult to get objective, unbiased opinions.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was critically acclaimed when it launched but, according to Neilsen Bookscan, it had sold 473 copies before the Harry Potter author was unmasked.

In fact, just 43 copies were sold the previous week.

After Rowling’s identity was revealed on July 14th 2013, the book surged from 4,709th to the 1st best-selling novel on Amazon. Stats also show 17,662 hardback copies were sold within the first 7 DAYS after the leak.

So, what does this have to do with anything?

Contrary to the myth many information publishers, marketers, business owners have been led to believe, content is NOT king, nor is it the key to success!

The release of The Cuckoo’s Calling illustrates this point perfectly.

Even though the book garnered rave reviews and was written by one of the highest grossing authors in history, the sales were slow. Why? I mean, the novel and writing style were top-tier by a seasoned author.

The real reason the booked gained little traction while JK remained anonymous was because there was little content distribution, promotion and marketing. That is what’s really king.

We see this online frequently with information publishing. There’s SO MUCH great content online but it gets easily lost in the shuffle. What’s the main reason for this?

It’s because the authors don’t know how to promote the content effectively to reach the critical mass. Or, they just don’t have an experienced professional team to help.

You could have the greatest blog post in the world but if no one reads it, then it doesn’t matter. You won’t get attention, recognition, traffic, or sales.

You see, unlike what the “gurus” have told you, simply creating content is not what leads to success.

Yes, you have to deliver top-of-the-line material, however understanding how to propagate it for the world to see is paramount. Very few eyeballs = even fewer sales.

This JK Rowling example is also a fantastic demonstration of the divide between the big names in publishing and the rest. They have the tools, resources, finances and connections to mass distribute content very rapidly.

If you’re not “in the club,” your chances of mainstream success are dramatically reduced.  The same holds true for online entrepreneurs and marketers. I’ve blogged about this before.

It all comes back to tools, resources, finances and connections.

Do you have them?

The gap is widening and the gatekeepers have come-back in full swing. You’re going to have to pay if you want to play these days, unless you are in the 1% that get picked-up my a major publisher.

Distribution is getting more difficult for most because the financial barrier keeps increasing. Also, as the old saying goes, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about WHO you know.”

SIDE NOTE: Can you imagine the how the publishers that turned down “Robert Galbraith’s” new detective novel must feel? Yes, they didn’t know it was JK but man, they MUST be kicking themselves. Lol!

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let the community know…

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About the Author

Matthew Loop is an author, speaker, investor, philanthropist, and the highest paid social media revenue strategist in North America. He helps brands, startups, and small business owners multiply their influence, impact, and income by harnessing the power of the Internet. Since 2005 he’s trained over 21,000 clients in 25 countries. Millions have viewed his free business growth tutorials online. Connect with him on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


4 Responses to “JK Rowling’s New Book: Proof That Content is NOT King!”

  1. Certainly food for thought. I have been told over and over to “get your content online” and the search engines will take care of the rest. Is this not true?
    Does this example mean it doesn’t matter what you know but who you know? Seems like it. Just like people buy because of reputation and not necessarily due to quality.
    In the end, I’m for quality myself in addition to “content”.

  2. Matthew Loop says:

    Hey Dr. George… Yes, you must get quality content online, however, that is only the beginning. It’s critically important to understand how to promote / distribute / market the content to get mass exposure. Connections can play a factor, too. However, most fail online simply because they have no idea the most effective way to promote their content to the right audience.

  3. MG Sweeney says:

    It’s just the way of the world these days. But what is great for new authors like myself is that I see my sales increasing [slowly] because people are enjoying your work and are recommending it. Word Of Mouth is the most powerful tool for the Unknown 🙂

  4. Maggie says:

    I agree and disagree. We should not underestmate the power of marketing, PR, knowing right people and all that Jazz, but as far as I know she didn’t have any money and any of that before HP and she made it and she made it big. I will allow myself to be the idealist who believes that great ideas and great content not only will find appropriate support to ‘get it out there’ while I am choosing to focus on real stories of those who proved it 🙂

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