Curiouser and Curiouser

Have you noticed that Bloomsbury is putting its name right on the front cover these days? My memory is unreliable – I could very well be wrong… but I can’t think of any other children’s/YA publisher that does this on their hardcover books. Does it have something to do with recent controversy? Curious, indeed.

For example (white arrows are mine):

The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson (May): Jack embarks on a journey to save London from a magician trying to turn the city to gold, but first he must release a dragon and rescue seven kidnapped boys who will help Jack finish his quest.
No and Me by Delphine de Vigan (August): Precocious thirteen-year-old Lou meets a homeless eighteen-year-old girl on the streets of Paris and Lou’s life is forever changed.

19 Responses to “Curiouser and Curiouser”

  1. Which controversy?

  2. It’s not uncommon in the UK and Europe I think.

    S & S used to put their teen website on the edge of the flap so you could see it face out.

    Scholastic Push titles say “Push” on the front. These are paperback originals.

    • Jacket Whys Says:

      So why do you think a publisher would, given their recent disfavor with some people because of the race issue, decide to put their branding right up front when they weren’t doing it before?

  3. I think most people outside of the publishing industry don’t see publishing houses as recognizable brands. They know the houses’ names, but couldn’t describe their flavors or variations. So I wonder if this doesn’t have to do with the Liar fiasco, but rather with Bloomsbury trying to establish some name / brand recognition? That’s a total guess, but I’ve wondered why publishers haven’t done more of this.

  4. Publisher Says:

    It’s because publishing houses are becoming more international, and distributing books everywhere.

    Plus, since most books are ebooks – it’s more easily recognizable on Amazon as a particular publishing house so that it can push a costumer to it’s individuals site.

    It’s a European trend to put publishing house names on books, US Bloomsbury is probably trying to match the UK Bloomsbury since that’s where it originated.

  5. Was this post necessary? Says:

    Is this post necessary? You’re just trying to rouse up interest for your blog by purposely trying to point more fingers at Bloomsbury, when it’s industry wide.


    • Jacket Whys Says:

      I’m sorry that you asked your question anonymously – I would have responded to you directly.
      It’s possible that this post is unnecessary, but I certainly didn’t expect it to gain me more readers. I didn’t intend to “point more fingers at Bloomsbury” at all. I am VERY interested in what goes on behind the scenes… behind publisher doors. Sometimes this kind of post does bring out some constructive answers (see Andrew Karre above) from publishers.
      I am extremely sympathetic to the difficulties of cutting it in a world where it must be much more difficult to sell books. My buying power is cut to half of what it was 2 years ago, and I’m certain I’m not unique. My interest in this particular issue is nothing more than pondering what un-public discussion brings about a decision to do something I hadn’t previously seen.
      Honestly, my connection of Bloomsbury’s decision to put its own name on the covers of its books was more of a guess that they wanted people to notice when they DO use diverse subjects on the covers.
      I’m sorry you are offended – clearly I haven’t roused YOUR interest in my blog.

  6. Yearling’s Penderwick books have “Yearling” and the horse icon on the fronts.

  7. Well, lots, actually. Puffin has the logo on many front covers, not to mention puffin classics. Yearling. Scholastic does this and has for years and years. Push.

    It doesn’t have anything to do with liar or their cover controversy issues (which frankly ae not widely know outside the very very insular little world of the ya blogosphere). It doesn’t have anything to do with ebooks either.

    Iits a branding thing. Its always a branding thing. Look and see if its a company wide branding initiative. Betcha it is, and betcha its worldwide.

    • Jacket Whys Says:

      Puffin, Yearling, and Push are all paperback imprints. And Scholastic does it on their paperbacks… Do they do it on hardcover books? I did say hardcover. Do you know of other publishers of hardcover YAs that are doing this?
      Branding makes sense. I think in this world where marketing is the key to nearly everything, it’s probably very smart. I just haven’t noticed other publishers taking up space with publisher branding (series branding, yes) on hardcover books.

  8. I love your blog, Jacket Whys! And I always appreciate it when you’re asking questions. :)

  9. A local publisher where I live does it (Gecko Press); it works well for them because they have had a very specific list (“curiously good”, often award-winning, children’s books translated into English for the first time). It was pretty clearly a branding thing for them and it’s been successful – local booksellers, especially people who sell to parents, say that parents will buy books because they trust the Gecko brand – pretty unusual for a publisher, for the most part. Book branding is usually associated with the author, but obviously in a lot of cases an author’s brand isn’t well-established; sufficiently specific imprints can bypass this if they’re well-trusted, and perhaps Bloomsbury is going for the same thing.

    I think it’s going to become a tactic used increasingly as small publishers realise they can expand their market to reach more people globally, but I’m not sure it’d work for Bloomsbury. Not a specific enough list.

  10. I think it’s seperate from the LIARS controversary and may reflect the fact that front covers are being posted all over the web, goodreads, etc.

    Just a guess.

  11. Really interesting. And that cover for NO AND ME? Gorgeous!

  12. Harry Potter.

  13. Georgia McBride Says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how far behind in learning the book publishing biz is behind the music biz. First, freaking out over eBooks–reminds me over the freak out over digital music downloads when I worked in music in the 90’s.

    Branding one’s record label has become one of the smartest things a label can do nowadays. Bit it has become an outdated marketing technique, as social media came and went in the music biz (yes, I said went).

    Branding labels in music meant you could pretty much guarantee that your core fanbase would buy whatever that label released–regardless of the artist. The consumer trust was in the brand/label. Small/indies would do well (in bk publishing) to learn from this example, though it may be harder for larger outfits like Bloomsbury, for example.

    I have no problem with the question being asked, that is–why would a publisher do this? But I do think the assumption as to answer to your own question, meant to inspire debate, could have been seen as inflammatory. While I am not personally offended, I can see why someone might see the question and subsequent presumption as negative and somewhat misguided. Not here to judge or point fingers, or even to defend. Just saying.

    While this is my first comment here, I do follow your blog, and appreciate the effort and insights.

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