Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Random Stuff

My boss, Tom Doherty (who is awesome,) has posted a quick essay on our parent company’s blog on the importance of mass market paperback books in developing new readers. In-house we know this as part of Tom’s “Horseradish and Ketchup” speech. (The idea being, if all anyone is offered is ketchup than ketchup will be the bestseller, but that doesn’t mean plenty of people wouldn’t prefer horseradish if given the opportunity.) I’m not being snarky when I say it never gets old. It’s impossible to sit next to Tom for any length of time and not learn something.


Wow, I earned $1.67 from the bookstore! (Ham sandwich, here I come.) Thank you, whoever you are.
Honestly, I didn’t expect any sales. I, myself, am extremely lazy when it comes to buying on line, for some reason walking to the bookstore seems easy whereas filling out forms is a huge headache. And I’m impatient. But I was hoping that it could build into a place that is fun to browse and waste time with.
I’m actually rather surprised how good Amazon’s suggestion program is working on it. I’ve been having fun seeing what it comes up with. (At work, I’m looking up so many random titles for the job that its suggestions become meaningless.)


Seen here is Dan Dos Santos. He stopped in today to hand in the artwork for Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker. This is the piece that Dan’s tutorial video is on -- more on that when it becomes available.


Carl V. Anderson said...

The essay was very interesting. I'm not a big fan of the mass market paperback myself. There is no way the wonderful art you guys design and commission for book covers looks any good on that small format. I much prefer hardbacks or, if they are unavailable, really nice sized trades.

Robert Hunt said...

A really interesting essay, thanks for that!

Bill Koeb said...

I love paperback books. Some of my favorite covers are on paperbacks that I own, such as: 'Lord of the Flies' by Barron Storey, and 'A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich', (unknown). The inexpensiveness of them affords more access to more readers who might hesitate at a hardcover. When I was a teenager, I read almost all the Tarzan books, tons of science fiction, and just about anything else I learned about at the time. I devoured those things and I don't know if I would have been able to convince my parents to shell out the bucks for a hardcover for every book I wanted to read. I would love to have hardbacks of some of my favorites, especially some of the illustrated books I borrowed from the library, but because of the low cost and availability of paperbacks, I have been able to enjoy much more than if limited to the few hardcovers I could have afforded.

I have been working for the past year on a literacy project for Goodwill, and support any endeavor that will help people to fall in love with reading.

Thanks for posting the article.

PS If my work appeared on nothing but softcover books, I would be extremely satisfied at the end of my illustration career.

Robert Hunt said...

Bill, I happen to have the "Day in the life of ivan denisovich" to which you refer, (Bantam, right?) One of the all time great covers...I believe the cover artist was William Edwards.

Bill Koeb said...

Hi Robert,
Yes, that is the one. It is one of my all time favorite images. Thank you for the info.


Irene Gallo said...

It's a shame to think that people can no longer build a career making art for paperback books the way they used to.

As a reader, I enjoy really _living_ with the books while I read them - I dog-ear em, stuff them into pockets, spill tea n them. I find hardcovers impersonal because I can't treat them like a favorite sweater. Although I do prefer the larger format trade paperback to mass.