JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter and also one of the richest women in the world, first published her crime novel ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ under the pen name Robert Galbraith. “Harry Potter’s mom” came up with the male pseudonym thinking a crime novel would be more successful if the audience assumed it was written by a man.
However, the truth soon came out as Rowling was outed by none other than one of her lawyers, Chris Gossage. It turned out Gossage confided in a friend of his about the true identity of ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ author and the news soon reached the press. Rowling filed a lawsuit against Gossage and the lawyer was fined £1,000 ( $1,650) for breaching the privacy rules of his profession. Russells Solicitors, the law firm Gossage works for, also had to make a donation to a charity in Rowling’s name in a form of apology to the author.
‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ wasn’t a huge success at first but after the true identity of the author was revealed, the book climbed 5,000 places up on the Amazon’s sales list in UK.