Friday, June 11, 2010

Publishers

I was going to post a review, but since I've only started it this afternoon and the only thing I've done is copy-paste the blurb, it's obviously not ready to go up LOL. However, it did remind me of a question I want to discuss about :)


Q: Does the publisher influence your reading? Do you have a favorite publisher? Or one that you try to stay away?

I was actually discussing this topic with a few of you a while back and I'd like to know how it is for everyone else :) When trying new authors or new books, we all have different criteria that attract us to the books. It can be the blurb, the cover, the genre, the first few pages, etc... but for me, I find that I have an additional criteria:  the publisher. Okay, perhaps not another criteria, but another factor that makes a difference :)

From experience, I've found that the books and style of some publishing houses fit me more than others and as a result, I'm more likely to pick up a new author from them. My latest example would be The Wish List by Gabi Stevens. I was in the mood for something fun and breezy and this seemed to perfectly fit the bill... but what sealed the deal is that the publisher was Tor. Tor brought me the Warland Chronicles series by Elizabeth Vaughan and is currently the publisher of Patti O'Shea, one of my favorite author :) Need I say more?


Another of my favorite publisher is the HQN Books and Mira, two lines from Harlequin. If I had to list all the great books and authors from these two lines, the list would go on and on and on LOL. You can't imagine the number of times I've picked up a book because it had Mira on the spine. This is probably the only publisher whose books I've picked basing myself only on the publishers. It says something, right?

In reality, I find that a lot of my impulse buys are influenced by the publishers. And not only the publishing houses, but their offshots/branches/lines ^_^;  For example, if I'm looking for a historical, I have a tendency to go to Avon (from Harpercollins Publishing). If I'm looking for fantasy or urban fantasy, it'll be Ace (Berkley) and ROC (New American Library). From Berkley, I'm more likely to pick up a romantic suspense or contemporary romance than a historical.

Each publishing house seems to be looking for something in particular - a style, storyline - when choosing their books and authors... and it has given me a comfort zone when buying books. Of course, authors and stories usually prevail over the publishers. I've never not bought a book because of the publisher... and I've never told myself, "Oh, these historical romance is published by Berkley, must not be as good as if it was published by Avon." For me, publishers has more weight when there is an unknown quantity to the book :)

I've pretty much named all of my "favorite" publishers :) As for a publisher that I like less... I would say St. Martin's Press. First, I'd like to clear that it has nothing to do with the authors. St. Martin's Press has a lot of big names (Lisa Kleypas, Jennifer Crusie, Janet Evanovich, Sherrilyn Kenyon, etc.) and I find that they sometimes take advantage of it on the readers. I really enjoy their paperbacks - I think they're greatly priced and I buy them. However, St. Martin's Press has the habit of publishing some tiny hardcovers at ridiculous prices, banking on the big names: the in-between Plum numbers, A Wallflower Christmas... or print novellas in paperback format. I feel they're taking advantage of fans loyalty... but that's probably another debate. And the answer is easy right? Don't buy it if you're not happy :)

So what about you?

11 comments:

  1. Interesting thought. I tend to steer toward Samhain myself. Probably because they tend to be a little steamier. I am definitely a cover slut, but I can say that I do look at the publisher when choosing books.

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  2. For me I have always loved Avon, but I really also like Love Spell as well, but it honestly depends on what I am reading and what genre whether its historical, contemp, paranormal, time travel or futuristic. But I liked your thoughts on the subject!!!

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  3. On my spreadsheet I also list publishers. I find it interesting to see which ones I purchase the most of. Avon is lowest and Berkley is the highest. I also like Dorchester with all the different imprints, but they don't sell all that many Dorchester books in Canada so while I like them, I don't have as many. I don't buy that many HQN's but the one I do get, I really enjoy. I also get different Harlequin lines - especially their Harlequin Historical in particular the Westerns they publish. And I'm just discovering that the SuperRomance line publishes some good books too.

    I'm just getting into ebooks as you know *g* - so I can't break epublishers down yet, but I think Carina Press will be my biggest epublisher go to. I also have a few by Liquid Silver

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  4. Wow, I've never really thought about it in that way. Like if I want erotic romances I go to Samhain or Ellora's Cave. But for all the rest I just go with the author.

    Hmmm... now I'll be paying more attention to the publisher. I do agree with you about the hardcovers and banking on the author's devoted fans.

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  5. Interesting Post Nath
    For me I have a lot of Samhain & Ellora's Cave. One day, of the 20 books on my desk, 14 were Berkley
    Heat or Sensation. I also have a lot of Aphrodisia, Brava & St. Martin's Press. A new adition seems to be Casablanca/Sourcebooks.

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  6. I never base my purchasing decisions on who the publisher is (if I want the book, I want it. Period.) but I do notice patterns. Heck, it's hard not to fall into patterns when you like a very specific historical sub genre (ahem, westerns) and some publishers have outright abandoned them. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

    So for that reason, I would say Harlequin is probably the best represented in my TBR. Between the Harlequin Historical line and my love of category romance? It's a land slide. I purchase very little Avon outside of a couple favorite authors. I buy quite a bit of Berkley - mostly historicals and romantic suspense. I also buy quite a bit of Dorchester Leisure - again, because they publish westerns.

    I've cataloged my TBR, but the only publisher I tagged was Harlequin (again, because of the category romance lines). One of these days, when I'm bored (ha!) I should go back and add publisher tags to ALL my books to get accurate numbers.....

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  7. I don't notice the publishers. That said, I don't often pick up new-to-me authors on my own. Lol.

    You brought up a good point and one I should pay more attention to...but that means I would need to go back and tag my books with the respective publishing houses. Not that I have to but it's just me being anal. Ha. But where will I find the time....

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  8. Kris - Yeah, for erotica, Samhain and Ellora Cave seem to be the 2 most prominent publishers...

    Lover of Romance - Nod nod. I like Love Spell too, but I don't buy that much from them, simply because their books are not as easily accessible in Canada.

    Kristie - LOL, I'm sooo not surprised to hear that Avon is the lowest for you!!

    I really like the SuperRomance line as well, although I only read a few :)

    I think Carina Press will be big with me as well :)

    Leslie - LOL, perhaps now you will :) Author is real important, but what if the author is new to you?

    Yeah, it sucks to be a devoted fan sometimes :(

    Mary G - Glad you thought so!!

    I think right now, a very good publisher is Berkley :) I like them all around ;)

    By the way, you went to the Lori Foster event, right?!? Lucky you!! How was it?

    Wendy - I've never not buy a book because of the publishers... but I've often chose a new author because of it :)

    I do agree that Harlequin seems to be the most well-rounded publishers. They really do have every sub-genres.

    LOL, it'd take forever if you went to tag ALL your books :P

    Tabitha - LOL, well you can just start from now :P I'm sure you'll pick out trend quickly :) no need to go all the way back :)

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  9. Interesting topic. I don't pay a bit of attention to the publisher at all. Totally in the dark there even if I had a tendency toward one or another... I wouldn't even know.

    I love Kristie's spreadsheet organizational skills. That's so cool to have all that info at your fingertips!

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  10. Hi Nath
    I had so much fun at Lori's event. I hear it's more laid back than others.
    I had the best time. Highlights:
    -Meeting my faves Beth Kery & Shiloh Walker
    -sitting with Beth, Shiloh, HelenKay Dimon & Beth Williamson at the signing and
    laughing - a lot.
    - telling LuAnn McLane that the shower scene in He's No Prince Charming made me
    laugh till I cried
    -Asking Charles Maynard if he's Janice Maynard's inspiration cause I love her
    books & chuckling about it after with Janice
    -trying to be mad at Sarah McCarty for making me like historicals & her just
    smiling sweetly & saying "your welcome".
    -meeting Anne Rainey, a sweetheart, & raving about her books just as her agent
    was there. Soemtimes I get lucky LOL.
    -meeting Larissa Ione - there are no words to describe that & she talked to my
    friend Lea (who couldn't be there )on the phone to surprise her.
    -meeting Paige AKA Alison Paige & her hubby & chuckling a lot. Ciao bella.
    -Erin McCarthy shaking her booty for us.
    -Toni Blake/Lacey Alexander signing my stuff
    Last but not least. Lori Foster who remembered (with the ton of people there) to
    ask how Lea was because she couldn't make it.

    The Marriott was amazing too. I'd love to go back next year.

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  11. Christine - LOL, I guess it's not everyone that take notice. I think another reason why I pay so much attention to the publishers is the price. In US$, it doesn't really matter, but in CDN$, the publishers decide... so sometimes, they charge a bit more ^_^;

    Mary - I'm so happy you had fun at Lori's event!!

    Those are definitively some great moments ;) It's just great to be able to meet authors :)

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