Just as authors need to better market themselves and their books, so do publishers. While the audience for a publisher website is diverse—authors, booksellers, journalists, agents, readers, and more—talking about books on your website the same way you talk about books in your catalog simply isn’t cutting it. In printed material, you have various constraints. On the web, you have the ability to do something special: tell the world what excites you, the publisher, about a particular book.I'd add that what can make a publisher's blog (or any organization's blog) interesting, is to let the folks not in the industry have a peek behind the curtain—see or hear about things that are only usually seen and heard by insiders.
I was partially joking when I titled this post, but realize that while blogging isn’t a necessity, the type of writing that makes good blogs so enticing is exactly the type of writing publishers can use to convey excitement and information about their books to potential customers. If “blogging” can help you throw off the corporate chains and lead to a more natural, casual, exciting discussion about your books, then call it blogging.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The first Penguin paperbacks appeared in the summer of 1935 revolutionising the publishing industry and becoming an integral part of British culture and design history. The development of Penguin covers runs parallel to the emergence of graphic design as a profession and, under a long line of talented and creative designers, the design of Penguin books has evolved and progressed.There's also a good post with more information at The Penguin Blog.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Holy moly do I love Patrick McGrath.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
More new words I learned:
skean-dhu a small dirk (short dagger) which a Highlander wears in his stocking
sporran a leather purse worn in front of a kilt
skive to avoid work or responsibility
midget gems are chewy, firm sweets
smirr light rain
Thursday, June 19, 2008
- The Author's Guide to Building an Online Platform, by Stephanie Chandler
- Ted Savas on Successful Book Publishing (and Authoring)
- 14 Points about Author Websites
How to Change the World
Monday, June 16, 2008
You can read a whole book on your BlackBerry (or your Palm Treo or your Windows Mobile phone) and you can enjoy doing so.
I know you don't believe me, so I'll say it again.
Since you carry your "smart phone" around with you all the time anyway, you might as well get the most out of it . . .
. . . I was surprised at how enjoyable I found the mobile-phone e-reading experience; you can get lost in what you're reading as much as you can with a printed page.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
What is your favorite book (or current favorite)?
Comparing different books is like comparing trees, bicycles, and basketballs. How do I compare Tug of War: Classical Versus "Modern" Dressage: Why Classical Training Works and How Incorrect Riding Negatively Affects Horses' Health with Captain Alatriste? Those are two that I've read recently and really enjoyed, for very different reasons. I'm also finally getting to the last two books in the Series of Unfortunate Events.
What is your favorite book store?
Where I'm living? Powell's, of course!
Do you have a favorite book cover?
I had the good fortune to work with Richard Eckersley for over ten years, so I would have to choose some of his covers: Break of Day, The Crab Nebula, The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with the river winding along the spines, The Governor's Daughter.
Do you have a favorite book-related website/blog/social networking service?
Will Work for Books, of course! And I like to keep up with what people are reading via Facebook.
What are you reading now?
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
My old boss and pal, Steph, recommended it so it's gotta be good.
On a hillside near the cozy Irish village of Glennkill, the members of the flock gather around their shepherd, George, whose body lies pinned to the ground with a spade. George has cared for the sheep, reading them a plethora of books every night. The daily exposure to literature has made them far savvier about the workings of the human mind than your average sheep. Led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glennkill (and possibly the world), they set out to find George’s killer.Generally speaking, any description including a "cozy Irish" anything doesn't bode well for me. But then how to explain my affection for Maeve Binchy (who pretty much personifies "cozy Irish")?
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Things I don't like:
- the flash as a new page loads
- location of next page/previous page buttons. This made it hard to hold without turning the page. Also, I kept expecting the left-hand next page button to be previous page.
- the text was justified, resulting in bad rivers—I saw one line consisting of only three words!
- I didn't see a way to change the font (but you can change the size)
- no backlighting. I know most people see this as a plus, but my experience was that I seemed to have a hard time finding the right lighting to make reading on it comfortable.
- the navigation seemed weird. I never really felt like I had a handle on the organization of it: I ended up using the home button to just go back and start from the beginning.
- shopping. It's so easy to buy books/subscriptions that I could see getting myself in big trouble with this thing! In a few clicks you are at the Kindle store and once you choose a title it is sent to your Kindle in minutes (or less). With most ebooks you have to buy them online, download them your computer, and then transfer them to your ebook device.
- the dictionary feature was very handy
- waking up in the morning knowing that the day's NYT was already there waiting for me (and that I could reach it without getting out of bed!)
Sunday, June 1, 2008
This was the first book that I read on UNP's Kindle. Watch for a post on that topic soon.