Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rejection, schmejection.

Agent Janet Reid has a great story about how getting rejected can be a good thing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

If you like this, then you'll enjoy...

Back in my days as a bookseller, I often talked with customers who looked for recommendations based on authors they liked.

"I like Nelson DeMille," I'd hear. "Got any books like that?"

We had cheat sheets that told us "if a customer likes THIS author, recommend THAT author." After a while, you got a feel for what people wanted and could make recommendations without even thinking.

There's been an interesting discussion on Adbooks recently that stemmed from one person's request that people recommend titles that are "like" TWILIGHT. The subsequent answers have often surprised (and occasionally amused) me. Sometimes I'd go, "That's a fair comparison" and other times I'd think, "Those two books are NOTHING alike." It got me to thinking: what exactly do we mean when we say one book (or author) is like another?

Are we comparing style of writing? Similar theme? Pacing? In the case of TWILIGHT, when asking for a comp title, do we mean something that's romancey? Angsty? Vampirey? More importantly, when someone asks for a recommendation, do we offer suggests based on what WE feel is comparative or what we think the OTHER person feels is comparative?

When someone asks you for a comparable title, which area do you typically default to?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Biz Lingo

Editorial Anonymous is doing a great running series of posts defining various publishing industry terms.

Dying to know what CMYK, PPB, or F&G stand for? Want to find out exactly what the difference is between a galley and an ARC? Then EA is your one stop shop!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Accolades! Accolades! Accolades!

As you might have guessed, I'm a bit behind.

Some congrats are in order for Flux authors!

Congratulations to A.S. King whose DUST OF 100 DOGS was named a Spring 2009 Indie Next list pick! (Stop by the D100D website to check out the book trailer!)

Congratulations to Robin Friedman whose NOTHING was named a 2008 Sydney Taylor Award -Notable Book for Teens.

Some great reviews for Heather Duffy-Stone's THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU:

“A sharp writer, Stone’s central triangle of relationships is both strong and universal, and her details are authentic.”—Booklist

“[T]he story is powerful and engaging and worthy of attention.”—Kirkus Reviews

And praise for Barbara Haworth-Attard's MY LIFE FROM AIR BRAS TO ZITS:

“Although laugh-packed, the heart of this endearing, but definitely not sappy, novel is Teresa's evolving family relationships, which challenge her to grow up quickly.”--Kirkus Reviews

“This is a book for chick-lit fans who want more intelligence than fluff.”--ForeWord Magazine

And a bit of advance praise for a book you'll be clamoring for come April: Vance Briceland's THE GLASSMAKER'S DAUGHTER:

"A thoroughly engrossing and surprising narrative, with wonderful descriptions of an imaginary Italian kingdom, this one's a strong contender for next year's Cybil’s!”--Readers' Rants

Friday, February 6, 2009

You can take the boy out of publicity...

Although I currently wield the dreaded red pen (actually, no, my pen is black), I find my roots in publicity hard to shake and I continue to be fascinated with unique approaches to marketing and publicity. Say what you want about THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (I happened to love it), the marketing plan that blurred the line between reality and fiction was br-ill-iant. Others have tried to mimic this sort of approach to varying degrees of success.

This most recent effort comes to us from across the Pond, regarding a forthcoming book called MR. TOPPIT. Apparently, the publishers took out a large add in the Times, claiming to be the characters in the book who then went on to denounce the book as unauthorized. Nothing courts controversy like something being made public that was never meant to see the light of day. The ad then directs you to a web site for more information but when you arrive there, the site claims to have crashed due to high volume of traffic but clicking on the "more info here" bar sends you to a blog with further mocked-up info.

It's kinda fun (says the geek who enjoys all the tertiary internet diversions offered by the producers of LOST).

One bit of frustration is that after only a base level of searching, I still don't know what the book is about. But here's the thing: I want to find out. So I'm going to keep digging. Damn their ability to spark my curiosity!

It's a fun little gamble that Penguin has taken. I'm really fascinated by risky attempts at book publicity; the more creative, the better. I remember a stunt a few years back involving carting a casket full of books around town and handing out free copies. (Was that also London? I can't remember. I couldn't find it in a quick Google search. If you remember this and have the info, send it my way.) What remains to be seen, of course, is if it will translate into sales. What's obvious is that it's translated into attention, which is half the battle right there.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go figure out what this book is all about. I have to.

UPDATE: I found it. I cheated. You'll have more fun if you burrow through the blog.