Monday, 29 December 2008

A new arrival...

So, how was your Christmas? Peaceful and happy I hope.

OK, now for non-Christmas news. Today, my paperback copies of Testament arrived in the post. Not quite as astonishing a moment as when the hardbacks arrived and, for the first time, I saw my book as a real thing which other people would buy, but still quite something. And paperback – I mean, that’s a real book isn’t it, the kind of book ordinary people like you and me buy? (Many thanks, however, to all the wonderful, noble people who bought it in hardback…)

Interestingly, Pan has decided to retain the hardback’s dust jacket design for the paperback’s cover. I have to admit, it’s very distinctive and looks brilliant in the paperback format – just enough out of the ordinary to make people pick it up (or out – even the spine is gorgeous) and wonder what it’s about. I know we’re proverbially warned not to judge books by their covers but we all do, don’t we? So I’m very pleased with how it looks. Here it is...

It's slightly brighter (more red, less brown) than the original hardback image but in other respects it's the same. Actually, the published version is slighly different to the one above, with the ‘shout line’ (‘what would you sacrifice to carve your name in history?’) dropped further down the cover which I think looks better, though I’m not sure I understand why. Maybe a graphic designer out there could clarify the visual psychology?

The publication date is this Friday – the 2nd of January – so it’ll soon be out there in the bookshops… I shall be in Canterbury on Friday seeing if I can spot it. If any of you manage it, let me know!

I keep reading in papers - and even in The Author - that the dreaded credit crunch is going to mean an upswing in book sales as people decide that they can’t afford to eat in restaurants or treat themselves to expensive evenings out. And, when you think about it, a paperback book is amazing value when compared with other forms of entertainment. At 568 pages, Testament represents around 8 or 9 hours of reading time (if you’re a slow reader like me, at any rate) which, at £7.99 seems like a lot better value than a cinema ticket at anything upwards of £6.00 for a couple of hours’ viewing. And you can’t even take the film home and lend it to your friends! Scale up for the theatre (or premiership football match) and even more so for eating out and, suddenly, paperbacks seem like astonishingly good value.

Of course, I’m preaching to the converted here but I am pleased that the industry I’m part of offers such good value.
Here’s to a New Year which sees publishing bucking the crunch trend!


Tim Stretton said...

Looks great, Alis.

I admit to being sceptical about the oft-repeated (somewhat desperate)argument that the credit crunch will mean more book sales. If people can't afford to go to the cinema, they'll watch TV; if they can't afford to buy books, they'll go to the library.

That said, they'll always be a market for good books, and I'm sure Testament will go like hot cakes

Alis said...

Thanks, Tim!

Akasha Savage said...

Hi Alis. Hope you had a good christmas...ours was brill - if somewhat loud!!
The paperback looks exciting for you, and it certainly looks like the sort of book I'd pull off the shelf.
Here's to loads of sales in 2009.

KAREN said...

It looks great Alis - here's to many more sales :o)

David Isaak said...

Alas, Alis (hey, those are fun to write next to each other), the used book trade via Amazon has become so accessible and simple that I fear sales of books may sag even if readership increases.

But the thought that readership might increase is heartening...