(kind of funny to have an excuse to link to this book!)
At the link:
The publisher already knew the writer of the Cuckoo book was Her, so this article gives the more realistic scenario. This fellow Ross, in the 70's, copied an award-winning manuscript, put his name on it, and sent it to 14 publishers, including the original publisher, only to be rejected:
"When Ross went public with what he had done, he expected the publishers and agents to be a little embarrassed that they had turned down a National Book Award-winning novel.
But, he told me when I interviewed him at the time, "I guess not. I went to the American Booksellers Association convention to talk to the publishers about what I did. They all thought that it was very amusing or silly. They agreed that it probably could happen again tomorrow. But the attitude was, 'So what?'"
As lovely as the J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith saga is, what would have made it even better, and turned it into more of a cliffhanger, is if Rowling had gone the Chuck Ross route:
If she had, without revealing her identity, sent "The Cuckoo's Calling" to publishers cold -- if she had submitted it and let them think that it really was by a novice named Robert Galbraith.
Would any of them have snapped it up?"