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Something that always bugged me

Now that I'm putting a little effort into compiling a list of Hugo eligible works, I am reminded once again of how few people refer to the publisher when mentioning that a book or story has come out.

With some it may be on purpose, with the thought that the publisher is so small, or self, or POD, that maybe mentioning where the work came out will not be a boost. But with the great majority, it's clear that the author and/or reader/reviewer just never considered mentioning who the publisher is.

And it bugs me not only because it makes my list-tabulating that much more difficult, but because there's this inherent assumption that now that the writer<-->reader connection has been made, the channels that made that connection are unimportant. As if the risk, money, support, etc of the publisher are just not important now that the deed is done.

I know darn well that's not what most authors think of their publishers, but it still surprises me when there's no mention of them.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
voiceofisaac
Jan. 11th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
One eligible work that I'll toss into the hat -- "Mirror Maze", by Michaele Jordan.
alicebentley
Jan. 11th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
See, now was it ironically or un-ironically that you didn't mention the publisher (Pry)?

The other critical point of info, if you want people to be able to nominate the works that you're in support of, is that this is a novel (I looked it up).

Almost no one who lists their short fiction is carefully spelling out what the length of the story is.
voiceofisaac
Jan. 11th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Nah, just wasn't thinking about it, did a quick post on an impulse.

But yes, it is a novel, rather than a short story -- didn't think of that point, either.
beamjockey
Jan. 11th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC)
But with the great majority, it's clear that the author and/or reader/reviewer just never considered mentioning who the publisher is.

Most readers, I fear, don't care. Heck, there are a lot of readers (I'm sure you've met more than I have) who don't even pay attention to who the AUTHOR is.

Unless the publisher has a very strong brand name, such as "Harlequin Romances," most readers will be oblivious. They do depend on their bookseller to put good stuff under their noses. I imagine readers are more aware of who their bookseller is-- especially now that the selection of books at drugstores and airports and truckstops has become impoverished.

(I seem to be stating the obvious. Am I missing your point?)

I agree that anyone writing a review ought to mention the publisher.

alicebentley
Jan. 11th, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
I don't really expect readers to notice - there are only a few publishers that work at getting their look-and-feel into the reader's perceptions (I'm thinking of you, Baen). But for the writers it really should be a different sort of thing.

These are their partners in bringing this work to the point where someone else can see it, and in most cases their source of income. For most of them, it's a long-standing relationship that both sides hope will continue. And yet, I'd guess that less than half of the author-generated lists of "here's what I pubished last year" had any publisher information with it. *That's* the part that bugs me.
acmespaceship
Jan. 11th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
People outside the industry have no idea what a publisher does and so publishers get no attention. Same with movie and theater producers. But wow, I'm surprised the authors forget to mention the people who sign the checks. Then again, it seems like a sizable percentage of writers are lucky if they remember to tie their shoes... let alone manage their careers well.
johnridley
Jan. 11th, 2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure that I've ever particularly noticed which publisher a title came from. I suppose at some point in the past a publisher with a reputation might mean something, but these days I generally go to a site like goodreads.com when looking for a new author to read. Peer-to-peer reviews and independent suggestion engines that say what other people who liked books that I like also liked work very well for me. Before I started using them I was often picking up books that I really didn't like. These days I have more good stuff in the stack than I can possibly read.

EDIT: I should note that Baen is an exception. If I want to buy a book, I go to Baen first. If I'm just looking for something new, I go to Baen's site first. This is because they're pretty much the only publisher that does eBooks correctly.

Edited at 2012-01-11 06:39 pm (UTC)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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alicebentley
Alice Bentley

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