Thursday, May 26, 2011
Armchair BEA: Imprints, TV Networks and Movie Studios
Looking back, I'm struck by how odd that now seems. I was aware of movie distribution. In the late 1990's and early 2000's, I would see every Miramax movie. I paid attention to the kinds of movies they made, and I liked most of them. I didn't need to know the plot, the stars, or the director. If it was Miramax, I'd be there opening weekend. Now I'm more loyal to directors and screenwriters, but it's interesting to look back.
I'm a loyal tv network viewer too. I'll try out most of the new shows on HBO, TNT, USA and AMC. They consistently air quality, scripted drama. I may not keep watching, but the network's reputation will make me tune in at least once.
In the book world, "who published it?" is one of the first questions I ask. Sometimes it's all I need to know. If I hear it's from The Other Press, Norton, or Greywolf, I'm usually sold. All three independent publishers consistently publish quality literary fiction. I don't always love the novels, but I know what I'm getting. If I hear it's one of the big publishing houses who publish quality literary fiction but also publish popular fiction, I have to do a bit more research. Their brand is more diverse, and thus not as well defined. It's the same way in television; I'll look into the new shows on NBC, CBS, and ABC, but I won't necessarily watch all of them.
I'm thrilled by the surge in imprints coming out lately. I think publishers are getting savvy and creating imprints with readers in mind. Perhaps it won't meet most readers, but it helps booksellers and book reviewers.
My go-to publisher has become Norton. Their Fall 2011-Winter 2012 catalog is amazing. I'm planning to read almost all of the novels they're publishing (I've already read some). Some I already wanted to read, but some I discovered when I took the time to read their catalog. It's not something I would have done before book blogging, but now a new Norton catalog is a squeal-worthy event.
Now tell me...do you have a go-to publisher?