Links + Things: Alpha A-holes, Book Marketing and Delayed Ebook Releases
One of the reasons I wanted to update my content management system is because I am constantly clipping links and other interestingness in Everynote that I want to post on the blog, but I didn't have an efficient way to do so. The new setup makes this so much easier, so I'll be doing posts about interestingness I've found more regularly.
Today's topics: the return of the asshole alpha male character, marketing saturation and delayed ebook releases.
Drunk Writer Talk is one of my favorite author blogs (I'm known for leaving rambling and random comments on their blog--I assume they think I'm insane); it's a collaboration between several romance authors, including CEFS favorite Molly O'Keefe. Their discussion posts are always great, and the comments on their blog are also really interesting.
Stephanie Doyle wrote a very interesting post about the re-emergence of the ultra-alpha asshole "hero" and his impact on 1) the characterization of the heroine in romance and 2) where this leaves novels without these types of Old School characters.
I have a lot of opinions on this subject and am brain-writing a post about it, but Stephanie touches on a lot of issues specifically from an author's perspective.
Has anyone noticed that Gayle Forman has a new novel out? ;)
I kid, I kid... If you participate in online book spaces at all, you'd have to be dead to not notice that Just One Day, out this week, is receiving an intense publicity push from Penguin. Honestly, I loved the book (I won an early copy from Shelf Awareness as part of the pre-publicity push), but if i was on the fence about reading it, this saturation would be a real turnoff.
Today they're pushing a 24-hour readthon, and I'm pretty much hiding from Twitter as a result. Theoretically, I love that there's so much attention for the book, but like The Fault in Our Stars and Gone Girl, I do wonder how much actual impact this massive amount of marketing has and what books don't get promoted--or even published--because the "sure thing" authors' books are promoted so aggressively.
I realize the nature of the publishing economy is that the big books subsidize the "little" ones, but I wonder is some of those little, unknown books could perform better if just a small fraction of those promotional resources were distributed elsewhere.
Delayed ebook releases is something that irks me to know end--I really believe that ebooks and paper books should be released simultaneously if the publishers publishes in both formats.
(Though, honestly, I don't understand why digital-first imprints and publishers don't take advantage of print-on-demand services to create paper books for customers who order them, but perhaps the price point makes it challenging). Furthermore, I adore it when publishers so what Simon Pulse has done quite a bit, and that's releasing all three formats--ebook, hardcover and paperback--simultaneously. Let readers decide what they want to read.
We all know that publishers do this so to hedge their bets on books landing on the NYT Bestseller List, and I just have a hard time thinking that's a good reason to deprive readers who maybe don't want to--or physically can't--lug a 900-page hardcover around.
I thought it was interesting that a bookseller favorably responded to the delay on Twitter, arguing that all ebooks should be delayed so as to force consumers to purchase print books,
While I understand the bookseller's argument (and I know that ABA has focused a lot of efforts in fighting ebooks*), I don't see how this encourages the overall culture of reading or readers. Frankly, I don't really think that limiting the sale of ebooks would help bricks and mortar retailers all that much--I do think more creative, collaborative thinking like Angry Robot's ebook/paper book bundling in the U.K. has the potential to really make a meaningful difference if we want booksellers to thrive in this economic climate.
*While simultaneously trying to figure out a way to provide them to their customers, including their new deal with Kobo, which puts ereaders on the shelves of independent bookstores.
- The cover of Jennifer Echols' upcoming YA (June 2013) popped up on Goodreads and I am absolutely in love with it. I love that she's finally getting the types of covers that her books deserve. This has kind of a YA Nashville vibe, right?
- One of my favorite contemporary YA novels, Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian, is on sale this month for the strange, yet low, price of $2.51 for the Kindle edition. This is a fascinating exploration of feminism and personal identity. It would definitely be on the reading list of the imaginary class I would love to teach in Women's Studies (I have my BA & MA in that subject) on YA Literature.