Thursday, March 30, 2006

Do You Buy Books Based on Who Published Them?

The quasi-anonymous blogger Sepulculture, who works for a major publishing house, has been pondering the question. And more specifically, is it possible to forge a "brand" identity for an imprint at a large conglomerate house, or is that kind of thing reserved for the little guys? Richard Nash, of the well-branded Soft Skull, responded. And Sepulculture took up the dialogue.

Have you ever bought a book on the basis of its publisher that wasn't a small press book? And which is preferable, the group identity of a small press, or the individual identity of a blockbuster author at any sized press? From a numbers standpoint, the latter seems to be the answer. But from a cultural standpoint? Where would the world be without City Lights, Akashic, Grove (in the old days), Hanging Loose, Manic D, Lo-Fi, Other Press, Kaya, Last Gasp, 2.13.61, etc.? I must admit I am drawn to a handful of logos. These publishers are like rock stars to me. (And I guess some of them actually are rock stars, which helps forge a press identity too.)

In a perfect world, it would be possible for a small press to exist with big corporate muscle behind it. But does that happen in this world? Any thoughts on MTV Books, for example? Or is that just for kids? Anybody else own several vintage titles from Vintage Paperbacks, circa 1980-something, with that trademark design and meaty interior? I used to be drawn to those. Am I now?

Some kind of blog post, all questions, no answers.

1 Comments:

Blogger girlbomb said...

I have a bunch of those Vintage paperbacks, which I bought in my late teens and early twenties. I didn't realize it at the time, but I must have associated the packaging with "other books I liked," and kept buying books from the same line. Funny.

12:56 PM  

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