The OF Blog: Much ado about nothing?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Much ado about nothing?

Sometimes, I hate myself for reading through my Twitter feed after I've awakened.  This morning, it seems the hot topic of the early morning US hours is talking about a release party for repackaged covers and an ARC.  Yes, a party was held for covers and an advanced reader's copy, not for the street release of China Miéville's upcoming book, Embassytown (which won't be available until May in the UK and I think the summer in the US).  Think about that for a minute.

Perhaps it is simply due to me being a Southerner who lives thousands of miles away from the two main genre-publishing poles for the Anglophone markets, but it does seem rather odd to be hosting a shindig for repackaged covers and a galley proof.  Maybe it simply is, as I saw it argued on Twitter, a way of celebrating an author and getting people involved, but it seems rather odd to have something where only a few erstwhile reviewers are invited along with industry people.  Perhaps that's how they do things up there in the UK; I don't know if anything similar happens in New York, but it just seems rather strange to have such an affair if the purpose weren't to generate some positive coverage of an upcoming release from those who are best able to effect such a thing.

Is it necessarily a "cynical PR" thing?  Depends on how one views it, I suppose.  All I know is that it just seems to be a case of making much ado about a nothing thing such as repackaging an author's backlist and introducing the cover for his upcoming novel.  Maybe I should steal this concept and have a flying squirrel circus promote Squirrelpunk whenever it is close to its release.  After all, any PR is good PR, right?


Martin said...

It is a book launch. Don't publishers do these all the time?

Adam Whitehead said...

Yeah, book launches like this are pretty common for bigger authors (as Mieville is now). The only difference here is that it was for the author's backlist as well as his new book, and a few non-industry types (bloggers, mainly) were invited as well (sadly, I couldn't make it), so this was more publicised than normal. I'm pretty certain that similar things happen in New York and maybe LA as well.

Lsrry said...

Still seems rather odd for those not directly involved in its launch to make such a fuss about it. Then again, it might just be personal preference. All I know is that whenever I get around to finishing/publishing Squirrelpunk, I'll consider having a (rabid) squirrel release party ;)

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