The M.S. in Publishing Blog wants to keep students, faculty and alumni up to date with the latest publishing industry buzz. “In The News” is a new blog feature that rounds up interesting publishing articles to share with readers! This installment features two articles discussing the future of book publishing and recent cover design winners.
The Huffington Post article, “The Future of the Novel” by Warren Adler, discusses a topic that countless readers have come to consider “normal,” the genre changes made to the modern novel. “With the tsunami of e-books where traditional and self-published writers are beefing up reading choices to astounding levels,” Adler says, “the book business has become a competing stew of infinite taste sensations that are offered up increasingly sliced and diced, and composed for an increasing segmented reading public.” The reading population has certainly seen a rise in new book categories stemming from the once traditional genres. Fiction’s romance aspect can now be further broken down into Romantic Interest, Paranormal, Regency, Suspense, and Young Adult to name a few. Adler notes that authors try to “skew their stories to a series approach, attempting to “hook” a reader to a character…to keep readers engaged and sales perking.” Authors are using their writing and content to help the crucial sales and marketing departments bring success to a title and publishing house. Famous writers like James Patterson pioneered this movement, building what Adler and other industry professionals would call a “book factory that churns out products on multiple platforms.” Often, ghostwriters are included in this process, expanding a book idea or plot. Commercial book publishers will rely on the emerging technological developments and reader-based trends to discover where the industry is headed next!
In the “Best Book Designs 2011: Design Observer Names Winners,” we honor a category of publishing often, subconsciously, overlooked- design. The Best Book Designs are named by a 35-person advisory panel from ‘Design Observer’, a leading website in design criticism. ‘Design Observer’ announced the “50 Books / 50 Covers” competition last year to help discover the best innovative book designs. Scribner’s book “Bed” by David Whitehouse, made the list, which uses a simple photograph of the word “bed” spelled out in different color pillows. “Better By Mistake,” featuring three chunky erasers with the titled printed on, was selected from Riverhead Books’, written by Alina Tugend. Other winners include “A Man of Parts” by David Lodge, Scholastic’s “Wonderstruck” by Brian Selznick, “The Pale King” by David Foster Wallace and Alfred A. Knopf’s “Adam and Evelyn,” by Ingo Schulze. Of the impressive list, my favorite cover design was “Debt,” a Melville House title, by David Graeber. The minimalistic cover displayed a bright red background and printed receipt. Now that the 2011 Winners have been revealed, the competition has begun for the 2012 designs. It should be very interesting to watch the change in design and observe the trends from year to year.
By: Diana Cavallo