News You Can Use – August 7, 2012

Are Book Covers a Dying Art? – This article from NPR is frustrating. A book designer actually says that someone will not buy a book on the web because of the cover, unlike what happens in a brick and mortar store. I disagree. Covers, even the size of a postage stamp are still a key component to the sound bite of a book’s content. Go to this link (please click here) to show anyone how amazing book covers in the Christian fiction market can be. Or to anyone who says that all Christian novels have an Amish theme. Clearly that is not the case. Each book at this link are Carol Award finalists this year. (Thank you to Cecelia Dowdy for creating the list!)

Author Fabricates Bob Dylan Quotes – A few weeks ago I did a post asking “Can You Plagiarize Yourself” because of certain discoveries found in the book Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. Now it has been revealed that the author, Jonah Lehrer, made up quotes and attributed them to Bob Dylan. The publisher has pulled the book from publication (you can’t buy it new from Amazon anymore) and will pay the freight for any store to return the books to them. The author has resigned from his position at The New Yorker. A swift crash from the heights of being a bestselling author to humiliation. Every writer who reads this should remember this cautionary tale.

The Origin of the Rorschach Ink Blot Test – More than you ever knew about ink blots! Weave them into one of your novels and see what happens. Oh, by the way, what do you see?

Who Really Invented the Internet?– Contrary to popular culture, Al Gore did not invent the Internet, despite his claim. But this article also says that it was not invented by the government? Gordon Crovitz says that it was a division of Xerox!

HarperCollins Forms New Christian Publishing Division – In case you missed the news last week because you were avoiding Olympic spoilers, HarperCollins has placed Zondervan and Thomas Nelson under a new division. The first step in this new era. It is notable that HarperOne is not included in that division. Likely since they publish titles that cover a wide range of religious perspectives.

8 Responses to News You Can Use – August 7, 2012

  1. Avatar
    Timothy Fish August 7, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    I find it amazing that anyone would think covers aren’t important. These days, the cover is about all you see of a book. One of the things that frustrates me about Kindle is that they should you the cover, but they don’t tell you pretty much nothing about what the book is about. The cover had better be good or the author won’t sell me a copy.

    As for who invented the Internet, the government seldom develops anything itself. They usually define a need and then hire contractors to go find a solution. Xerox PARC had a lot of bright guys working for them back in the day. Aside from Intel, I don’t know of a single company that has influenced the computer industry more. That’s rather ironic, since they sell copiers.

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    Lance Albury August 7, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    There was a quote on the Berenstain Bear’s web site supposedly from Harper Collins that said “We have no plans to work with them in the future,” referring to Chik-fil-A and their support of a Biblical view on marriage. Harper Collins later had the statement removed, saying it wasn’t authorized, but said nothing more.

    Harper Collins needs to make a substantive statement on the matter, or else they have no business in the Christian publishing market.

    • Avatar
      Timothy Fish August 7, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      If Harper Collins makes a statement at all, I expect it will be an attempt to say that their position is that they have no position. The fact that they declared the statement “unauthorized” is significant. Harper Collins is in the business of providing products to people who have very different opinions. They can’t afford to place themselves in a position of supporting one side or the other of hot issues. Instead, I expect we’ll see them saying something along the lines of “Our company has no position, but if you want to learn about both sides of the issue, read our books.”

  3. Avatar
    Sally Bradley August 7, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Covers don’t matter much anymore? Wow. This is one of those times when an industry insider is completely wrong.

    Yes, a lot of people go to Amazon for a specific book. But then we see books others bought, and we click on one which leads to another, then another. Or we look at a few bestseller lists, just to see what’s new. And we add four or five books to our wish list because the cover was so good that we had to find out more.

    Covers matter.

    • Avatar
      Sally Bradley August 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      And who’s to say they didn’t go to Amazon to pick out that one book because that one book’s cover was so great?

      No, I haven’t been obsessing about this in the hours since my last comment. Just came back to see what Cecelia had to say. 🙂 And got to thinking again.

      • Avatar
        Cecelia Dowdy August 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

        Thanks for coming back to read my comment, Sally! Have a blessed day! 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Cecelia Dowdy August 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Thanks for posting the link from my blog.

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE book covers! They’re the very first thing I notice about a book! First I look at the cover, comment on it, then look to see what the book is about! Authors need nice book covers to attract readers.

  5. Avatar
    Jackie Layton August 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    You know the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover?” Well, if a book has a bad cover, I’m going to think the story’s not good either.
    I love pretty book covers, and I think it’s got to matter to readers.
    I wonder how many books on the NYT bestseller list have bad covers?

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