Friday, May 6, 2011

Random Snippets

Margaret Atwood:

"...the Bayeaux Tapestry which is sometimes called the first comic book. It’s a series of panels with text here and there, and a frieze along the bottom which consists basically of people getting their heads chopped off and their clothes pulled off. It’s very non-linear, but also quite linear because you read the panels in sequence; but you also read them back and forth and up and down."

Nancy Werlin: The Anatomy of a Book Cover
YA author talking about the development of the cover art for one of her books
"Then there’s the mission of any cover: to represent the book’s contents authentically enough while appealing to the tastes of those most likely to want to buy it and read it.

“Authentically enough.” What do I mean by this? Well, I’m a veteran of YA book covers (just take a look at my website’s Cover Gallery, in which you’ll find my sometimes trenchant comments on the covers of my books over time). I used to want covers that represented the book’s contents very closely, and were also pretty. Many folks automatically believe that this is what makes a good cover.

But I’ve changed my mind about this. While the cover should not lie (by implication or outright), its job is simply to say: “Pick me up!” to someone who might like the book. That is all. "

Gail Rebuck, the chief executive of Random House in the U.K., recently described her “idea of hell” as a website ‘with 80,000 self-published works on it’ – a world where publishers and bookshops are replaced by a sort of online, super slush pile.

Authors occasionally ask what is meant by the "Big Six" in publishing. It's the major U.S. New York-based traditional publishers (used to be referred to as print publishers, but now of course also offer their books in digital).

Random House
Simon & Schuster

Need to remember that? Raelene's mnemonic (memory trick): Heros and Heroines: Most Prefer Romance and Sex.

And each of those publishing houses has multiple imprints. It's not unusual for the house to reorganize and rename imprints, so any list can become outdated. But for example, a not-too-old list of Penguin imprints: Berkley, Berkley Sensation, Gotham, Heat, Jove, Obsidian, Onyx, Prime Crime, Putnam, Signet, Signet Eclipse, NAL, Riverhead, Viking.

Of course, because the Big Six refers to U.S. publishers, it is missing the largest romance publisher: Harlequin.

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