Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lazy Sunday

This means that I am current not motivated enough on this overcast Sunday afternoon to write full posts about any of these subjects, but I would still like my readers to be informed of the following:

1) Literary Rapture will be attending BookExpo America this year! You can expect daily coverage from the trade show floor, the parties, and the streets of Los Angeles, where literati, cynical publishers, and New Yorkers will mingle with suntanned beach-going Californians.

2) In the Dept. of Gross, the Willesden Herald Prize of 5,000 pounds for unpublished writers was awarded to nobody this year. Apparently, Zadie Smith and the Willesden Herald are trying to save contemporary publishing from the "pseudo-literary fictio-tainment" that we must currently endure (obviously Zadie Smith is far above that). However, Zadie and the other jury members decided that none of the entrants possessed enough talent to do that. Zadie went on to assert that most literary prizes are more about "brand consolidation" than literature. Too bad we aren't al as smart or literary as Zadie Smith.

3) The part about brand consolidation brings me to my next point about branding in the publishing industry. This really needs to be a longer post, but let me introduce the topic that will become more frequent here on this blog. I firmly believe that publishers need to do more to market themselves as brands if they want to sell more books. Harlequin and McSweeney's are good examples. Readers are familiar with these publishers and the kinds of books they release. Before I started in this industry, I had no idea what publishers existed beyond the big guys. I simply never looked, and I am not unique in that regard. Even now, the publishing missions and strategies of many publishers are vague and hard to identify. They all seek to publish quality works by provocative and original authors...or whatever. Get a name, get a brand, and get an audience!

1 comment:

Richard Nash (Soft Skull) said...

Damn right, Ms. Johnson. If we try to eschew the process of doing that, for the sake of being pure, whom exactly does that help? Not our authors...