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  • Publishers as brands

    Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24

    Great stuff -- as ever -- from Emma over on the Snowblog about publishers as

    Comments

    1. Robert's avatar Robert

      Emma's wrong. Publishers do matter to people, insofar as the amount of money they possess to budget for publishing an author's work. What's the photography, artwork, or background research going to be like on a shoestring budget, eh?<br /> <br /> In the case of Richard Ballantine, his earlier 'Bicycle Book' recalls the heady days of beautiful color layouts and lots of professional photography. While the small-scale 'City Cycling' is more memorable for the use of the author's own grown children as ill-suited models, complete with amateurish photography. With today's fierce competition in internet media, book sales are worse than ever, yet saving money in terms of an inadequate book budget makes the final product even less competitive against the www monster.

      Posted Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24
    2. Angela's avatar Angela

      As I've just bought a book from you via Amazon I thought I'd check out your link and so have read your blog. I can't resist leaving a comment because I am a bibliophile who has worked in PR for over 20 years (though not in publishing). Essentially my view is this: people do tend to judge a book by its cover.<br /> <br /> I will read anything from Jungian analysis to political biogs but I have a soft spot for sci-fi. (Why do most publishers insist on making sci-fi and fantasy covers look so appalling - as if they are suitable only for anorak wearing pimply youths?)<br /> <br /> But I digress. One of the reasons why Penguin have such a strong brand is because of their original visual, which has lodged in our collective memory and is - I think? - currently being reproduced. Its branding was consistent, clean and aesthetically appealing.<br /> <br /> Get your logo right, get your format sorted - a sort of contemporary classic look is usually a safe bet, particularly in our nostalgic yet hi-tech age - and you are on the right track.<br /> <br /> Of course authors are important but if you get your visual branding sorted you create a sense of value and authority. People will even risk buying an unknown author if the cover looks interesting and is 'supported' by the known brand of a publisher whose other books have been enjoyed.<br /> <br /> I don't want books to be fish and chip paper, even if they are paperbacks. Beautiful books are a joy. They don't have to be of the coffee table variety - the cover of a paperback can be art. A publisher who knows how to make a book look good adds to the pleasure of the reader. <br /> <br /> OK rant over!

      Posted Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24
    3. Amanda Nellist's avatar Amanda Nellist

      I agree that as a reader, I generally do not care a jot which publisher an author is with. I'm interested in the words of the author, the story they have to tell.<br /> <br /> The one exception to this is with some of the classics. For example, I have read the Three Musketeers saga by Alexandre Dumas pere, and the Oxfprd World's Classics are much preferred, as they give informative footnotes about the historical figures, and what is fact and what Dumas elaborated or invented. So with classics I would always check out their versions.

      Posted Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24
    4. Philip Cowell of the Arvon Foundation's avatar Philip Cowell of the Arvon Foundation

      Emma is absolutely write that it's the authors that people are interested in. That probably explains why the Arvon Foundation has been going so strong for forty years - we give people the chance to live and write and learn from the authors they love to read. It's a classic formula. Happy New Year from all of us at Arvon.

      Posted Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24

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