Monday Musings | Riverhead Books’ New Colophon

Riverhead Books New Colophon 2016

Photo source: Riverhead Books’ Facebook Page

Happy Monday, friends! This week is already off to a great start for me as I’ve been geeking out over Riverhead Books’ new colophon all day! (Am I the only one who learned what “colophon” means today?) I learned about the re-design this morning and I can’t stop thinking about it, especially the gorgeous video they made to reveal it — see above, or on Riverhead Books’ Instagram here.

If you’re like me and hadn’t heard of the term “colophon” before, here’s how Wikipedia defines it:

“In publishing, a colophon is a brief statement containing information about the publication of a book such as the place of publication, the publisher, and the date of publication. A colophon may also be emblematic or pictorial in nature.”

As someone who doesn’t specialize in graphic design, I’ve always been interested in learning how book covers and advertisements are made, but I’ll admit that I never really thought about the process behind creating a colophon. Paste Magazine’s exclusive reveal of the Riverhead colophon gets a little behind designer and Riverhead Art Director Helen Yentus’ inspiration and I think it’s worth a read. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think Yentus did a fantastic job of modernizing the Riverhead colophon while staying true to its previous version so that it remains recognizable. Now I’m going to pay more attention to everyone else’s!

What do you think? Do you like Riverhead’s new colophon? Do you have a favourite colophon? (Am I ever going to stop saying “colophon”?)

Cover Affairs: The Winner’s Kiss Cover Change

Hi fellow bookworms!

If you’ve been on bookish Twitter over the past few weeks, you might be aware of the discussion that’s been going on about the cover of Marie Rutkoski’s upcoming book The Winner’s KissA few weeks ago, Fierce Reads revealed the cover of this third — and final — book in Rutkoski’s much adored The Winner’s Trilogy. The cover featured a fierce, mother-of-dragons-esque woman. As a cover itself, it’s quite beautiful (and kind of reminds me of Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass series‘ covers). However, fans were quite outspoken about how this cover doesn’t match the series’ first two covers, which feature a woman in a beautiful, luxurious gown. Many took to Twitter to voice their opinions: some were outraged, disappointed, sad, even going as far as tagging Rutkoski with their fury; others were very supportive, stating that it’s what’s between the covers that should matter the most. I suppose some outcry was to be expected (rarely do we like change – just think about what happened when Twitter changed from stars to hearts), but I didn’t really think a cover redesign merited this kind of response. Then again, as much as I love judging books by their covers, I’ve never been one to need to have matching sets. But as someone who’s fascinated by all things publishing, this array of emotion was very interesting to me.

In my Introduction to Trade Publishing course, one of the first things we learned was that publishing is the marriage of art and commerce. As Rutkoski mentions in her tweet above, publishers are actually the ones who, most of the time, have final say on cover direction. And that makes sense: they have had years and years of experience selling books to readers and are informed of industry trends. (However, that’s not to say that creating a cover is ever easy business — in-house cover discussions can be just as lively.) In this case, it seems as though the publisher wanted to spread the book love to new audiences by creating a cover that appealed a different demographic. This is where things get complicated: how does one satisfy an existing fan base while trying to reach new readers?

A cover re-reveal! What?

Leave it to the publisher to figure out a best-of-both-worlds solution: the hardcover edition of The Winner’s Kiss will now have a woman in a lush gown, while the paperback editions will be redesigned to match the originally revealed cover. A true win-win situation.

This whole event is worth thinking about on so many levels. First, the cover redesign, in which we’re all reminded that books need an audience, and that that sometimes means a new strategy, a new direction. Publishing is a business, after all. Then, there’s the discussion of having matching covers. To be honest, before becoming actively engaged on the “book-ternet,” I had no idea that so many people were so passionate about having matching covers. Finally, the cover re-reveal. It shows that publishers do think about their readers, and it shows that readers can create change. What a doozy! In the end, I’m happy that things turned out well for everyone. Fierce Reads has managed to satisfy the series’ loyal fan base while also giving the books a second life (and said loyal fan base a reason to purchase the paperbacks as well). It’ll be hard to say whether this will serve as a case study for publishers who are thinking of redesigning their covers mid-series or not, but for this bookworm and blogger, it was mighty engrossing.

Have you been following this news story? Are you happy with the outcome? Do you prefer your books in a series to match?

Monday Musings | Would You Read a Book in App Format?

Monday Musings One More Page Book Blog Reading App

Will apps, instead of physical books, become the new norm?

Hi friends!

First of all, I apologize: I seem to have fallen into the bad habit of only writing Monday Musings… To be honest, I feel like I’m going through some kind of blogging “sophomore slump.” Plus, with a lot of new things happening in my life, it’s been harder and harder to sit down and blog. I hope I can kick this funk soon! I’ve read some really incredible books that I can’t wait to blog about (note: Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, The Widow by Fiona Barton, etc, and the Carly Rae Jepsen Book Tag that I’ve been meaning to do!). However, I hope you will bear with me in the meantime until I get my mojo back!

Anyway, back to today! Just as I was thinking about what to write about today, I came across a tweet that caught my attention:

The tweet links to this article that outlines what to expect from Wally Lamb’s upcoming book –or, more accurately, app. It’s interesting to note that the publisher has decided to forgo not only paper editions of the book, but e-books as well. I suppose I see the merit in it, in that it means that everyone who is interested in the book will have no choice but to download the app. And, to be fair, the bundle included in the app (“an original soundtrack, a full cast audio drama narrating the story, and a documentary about Lamb, shot in the movie theater that inspired the novel,” according to Electric Lit) sounds pretty enticing. I’m definitely interested in seeing how the novel and app is received when it comes out next year.

What do you think of this book/app? Would you download it? Do you think it’s a wise choice for those involved to not publish a physical book and e-book as well? 

Monday Musings | How You Do Find Your Next Read?

A Window Opens Elisabeth Egan Book Cover One More Page Blog

Today I indulged in one of my favourite guilty pleasures by stopping by the bookstore after work. I happened to see A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan on the shelf and remembered Lupita Reads‘ recommendation and excitedly picked it up. This made me think about my other recent purchases and it made me realize that I do most of my book discovery online. More specifically, my book blogger friends and publishers’ social media accounts play a huge role in introducing me to my next read.

In my publishing class, we learned about consumer habits in terms of book purchasing. I learned that books bought in non-bookstore environments (such as Costco) are more likely to be impulse buys, whereas the majority of people shopping at independent bookstores have a specific title in mind when they visit.

In terms of discovery, it seems like word-of-mouth is still the most effective way to help a book gain traction. Of course, a lot of our word-of-mouth communication has moved online.

And, while I’m sure there is some sort of bias in this sample (note: this is my attempt at sounding scientific), I want to hear how you discover books!

When was the last time you bought a book impulsively? Where were you? Where do you find out about new books? (eg. a newspaper’s books section, bestellser lists, bloggers, etc!)

5 Reasons Why I Loved The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian Andy Weir Book Cover Blog Review Matt Damon

Last Christmas I was extremely grateful to receive The Martian, one of my top to-read books, from my dear friend M at Rain City Reads (thank you so much!!!). I completely fell in love with the story and was captivated from start to finish. I’d meant to blog about this sooner, but somehow I never got to it. Well, better late than never, right? Since I’m sure many of you have either read this book already or have read numerous reviews, I figured I would write a list of 5 reasons why I love The Martian so much. (Read the book’s synopsis here!)

1. The cheeky narrator.

One of the first things you’ll notice after starting the book is how humourous Mark Watney, the narrator and stranded astronaut, is. Personally, I’d find it pretty impossible to be so funny and sarcastic in his situation, but his ability to be like that is what makes him so lovable. He combines logic and science (yay!) with humour and heart to become one of my favourite narrators in recent history.

2. The science.

Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about botany and engineering and my math is… functional. But Weir makes everything so believable. I really could picture Mark figuring out how to grow crops using his own biomatter as manure, and how to create his own water using his engineering and chemistry knowledge. Best of all, he made me feel like I understood everything he was saying! Sure, his plans may be far-fetched in reality, but it sure didn’t feel like it when I was reading.

3. The suspense.

Will he make it out alive??? So many elements are working against Mark, from having to grow his own food, create water in a highly combustible environment, and move his whole station to a different part of Mars where the next mission will be. There’s also incredible suspense on Earth: will NASA even be able to create a vessel to send to Mars to save Mark in time?

4. It’s not all about Mark.

Judging from what I’ve said so far about The Martian, it would be easy to assume that the book is all about Mark. But it’s not. Weir also takes the time to develop secondary characters, from Mark’s crew mates (who followed orders and left Mars thinking Mark had died, and then had to find out that he hadn’t and they had essentially abandoned him) to the NASA employees who have to put together some sort of plan. They all seem so real, so believable, and have their own voices. It makes the book so fascinating and fun to read. I can’t wait to see this on the big screen.

5. It has a great publishing story.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t really about The Martian’s content, but I love hearing a great success story. Did you know that The Martian was initially self-published on Weir’s website and then picked up by a Newmarket-based audiobook publisher Podium Publishing? Go Canada! Eventually, Weir caught the attention of traditional book publishers, and, well, the rest is history.

So there you go! 5 reasons why I loved The Martian by Andy Weir. I absolutely can’t wait to see this on the big screen and judging by the trailer, I think it’s going to be amazing! Watch it here:

Have you read The Martian? What did you think? Are you looking forward to seeing the movie?

Monday Musings | Paying Attention to Publishers?

Literature Classics Penguin Classics Oxford Classics One More Page

When I was in university studying English, classics were a staple on my reading lists. Now, I don’t know how you categorize your shelves, but when classics made up most of mine in university, my favourite way to organize my books was by publisher (see above!). Just thinking about my row of black Penguin classics and white Oxford classics makes my heart sing!

However, outside of the classics, I never really paid attention to who was publishing my favourite books until I started blogging. This is kind of interesting, as it makes me wonder whether other readers consider publishers when they pick up a new book. Does a book published by a recognizable publisher give readers more confidence in picking it up if they see it on a table in Chapters? Or do we largely ignore publishers and focus on the book’s content itself?

I have definitely noticed trends in my reading (I read a lot of books by Penguin Random House Canada, which is unsurprising as their one of the biggest global publishers. I also read a lot from HarperCollins Canada, especially now that I’m an intern there!). That being said, I don’t confine myself to my favourite publishers and do rely on book synopses to help me determine whether I want to read a book or not.

Now, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Do you pay attention to publishers when purchasing books/reading? Do you have a favourite publisher? If so, why do you consider them your favourite?

Monday Musings | When Was the Last Time You Bought a Hardcover Book?

April Wrap Up One More Page Blog 2015

I’ve been learning a lot during my time in publishing school, friends, and some of the most interesting aspects of it have had to do with reader behaviour. Where do we find our next read? Is there a higher chance of purchasing a book online if we heard about it online and vice versa? How many in-store purchases are impulse buys?

In last week’s lecture, my class discussed the future of publishing, and how some countries have been slower to adapt to e-reading than others. It was also mentioned that some countries tend to buy more hardcovers than others. When I heard this, my book blogger brain came out, and I thought, “Why not ask my internet friends what their habits are?” A statistician will probably roll their eyes at me, but I just love polling my friends and seeing how my circle of friends fit into the statis.

So, let’s play a game! When was the last time you bought a hardcover book? When was the last time you bought an ebook? Do you have a preference when it comes to print or e-reading? Also, if you’re comfortable sharing this, which country are you from?

Monday Musings | The Future of Print Books

2015 Reading Bookish New Year Resolutions

I think, for as long as we live, we will always worry about new technology taking over old technology.

Sometimes these worries are valid (cassette tapes, anyone?) but sometimes we’re a little too pessimistic. In publishing (and for avid readers in general), the hot topic has been the rise of e-books. Will there be an e-reading generation that doesn’t value print books? Will the printed word go extinct?

So far, studies have been inconclusive. There is evidence that my generation of readers (as well as older generations) still value physical books, but are open to trying other forms of reading. I have no doubt that I will attempt to pass on my love of print to the next generation, but I also have no idea how receptive they will be to my cajoling. Though I’m sure the print book isn’t going to go extinct anytime soon (in 2013, 17% of books purchased in Canada were ebooks), I still wonder if there’s a future where most people will prefer reading from an e-reader or tablet…

What do you think? Are you a print book purist? Or have you converted to e-reading? Do you think the anxieties over whether print books will go extinct is silly, or something to be worried about? What is the value of a print book over a digital one?

(I personally think it’s a little bit silly to worry about this, but I’d also be devastated if publishers stopped printing books. I’m not a print book purist as I do own an e-reader, but I much prefer reading in print. Take that as you will!)

Monday Musings | A Note on the Type

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I’m the kind of reader who eats up Author’s Notes and Acknowledgements. I love reading about the writing process, seeing people recognized for their contributions, and the piecing together how a book comes to be. But something I’ve realized that I don’t appreciate enough is a section I’ve been noticing more and more recently where the publisher/book designer (?) writes a bit about the font type.

I have to admit here that I don’t often notice when books are set in different fonts unless it’s incredibly recognizable or out there (can you imagine a book written in Comic Sans??). It’s something that I haven’t paid very much attention to, but I wonder if being more aware would offer up an extra way to analyze the text or “message” that they publisher is trying to convey with their design choices. Plus, as a trivia-loving gal, I feel like reading up on the “A Note on the Type” sections (and retaining its information) would give me hella trivia cred.

I’ve seen people on Twitter giving shoutouts to these sections, so I wonder if I’ve been alone in feeling indifferent about this up until now? Do you pay attention to the “A Note on the Type” sections in books? Do you think font types make a difference in your reading experience? Do you have a favourite font? I want to know!

Monday Musings | Blog Origins

Karen from One More Page kmn04books

Whenever I tell people that I want to work in publishing one of the first questions that usually follows is “Are you a writer?” and my inclination is to always respond with “No.”

It’s true. I’ve tried multiple times and failed at fiction writing. I over-think things and over-analyze situations and don’t do a very good job at world building. No, I’ve always confidently answered that I’m not a writer. However, as I geared up to answer this question again this past week, something made me change my response. Instead of plain saying I wasn’t a writer, I modified it and admitted that I wasn’t a fiction writer. Because, when I think about it, I’ve been writing all my life.

I started my first ever blog in grade 6. Back in the day Xanga was a huge blogging platform (where I lived, at least). My blog consisted of silly things and personal updates. I posted almost every single day. It felt normal and natural because I’ve always felt compelled to diary and journal and the fact that almost all of my classmates were also writing personal blogs didn’t hurt. Those were the first days where I realized how the simple act of writing, for me, could form a community.

Since then I’ve written countless other (semi-private) blogs. I had a 365 day photography blog. I had a health blog (that lasted around 2 months…). I have had personal blogs on and off since my first one in grade 6. So, when I think about how I arrived at this blog here, I guess I should have seen it coming. When someone loves to jot down their opinions and feelings as much as I do and love to read as much as I do, it’s probably only natural that blogging or writing about it comes next. I think these are the real, deep-down reasons for why I have this blog and it’s something I really haven’t realized until now. I most definitely am not a fiction writer, but the need to write has constantly been with me and I can now confidently acknowledge and say “I’m a blogger because I’m a writer” (and thinker and dreamer and lover of words…).

Anyway, the reason for my long story is so I can ask YOU – Do you identify as a writer? Have you always been this way? What made you start your blog (whether it be about books or not)?