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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Potter publisher promotion

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  • Berni Phillips
    ... The poop on her is that her books did not sell well under Megan Lindholm. In 1988, Brian Attebery s scholar guest of honor speech at Mythcon was on her
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 10, 2000
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      >From: "Donovan Mattole" <mattole@...>

      >I just started reading a Robin Hobb book, Ship of Magic. I'm
      >curious, has anyone else read her before and if so, what are your
      >feelings. She's from the Seattle area and I know she never was
      >popular in the 80's when she wrote under the Megan Lindholm name.
      >Ever since she changed her pen name to Robin Hobb her books have sold
      >like crazy. She's coming to town in a few weeks, so I decided to
      >give her a try. Any thoughts? Did she re-invent herself, do you
      >think the name made a difference, or was it just the early 90's when
      >a lot of the current big selling names first came out with books?

      The poop on her is that her books did not sell well under Megan Lindholm.
      In 1988, Brian Attebery's scholar guest of honor speech at Mythcon was on
      her _Wizard of the Pigeons_. He did such a great job, bunches of us rushed
      out trying to find the book. I really enjoyed it.

      Robin Hobb said in her Locus interview last year that her first drafts sell
      without editing. She was advised to use a different name because her own
      name hadn't sold well. Megan Lindholm revised and revised her work
      carefully, cutting down on the page count a great deal, I gather. Robin
      Hobb's books are so much bigger because her unrevised versions sell so why
      bother with the work of self-editing? (Those who know him can imagine my
      beloved husband's reaction to that.) I like Megan Lindholm. I'm not so
      happy with Robin Hobb's attitude so I haven't read any of hers. I would
      definitely recommend _Wizard of the Pigeons_ if you can find a used copy.

      Berni
    • Sophie Masson
      People have told me re Robin Hobb that the name made a difference--Random House people here have told me that because it was androgynous, and also carried
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 10, 2000
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        People have told me re Robin Hobb that the name made a difference--Random
        House people here have told me that because it was androgynous, and also
        carried quasi-mythical echoes(Robin Hood, of course!) somehow it stuck in
        people's subsconscious. But I think myself as a writer and reader that names
        don't make _that_ much difference--people may buy the first one based on
        that: but if it's rubbish, no glamorous name in the world is going to
        persuade people to part with their hard-earned dosh again. I think that
        there is a version of the 'every dog has its day' proverb for
        writers--somehow, some mysterious alchemy seems to click n: sometimes at the
        beginning of a person's career, or much further down the track. I think of
        people like James Lee Burke and Martin Cruz Smith--who both wryly commented
        that their 'overnight success' actually took them twenty years to achieve!
        Sophie
        Author site:
        http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Donovan Mattole <mattole@...>
        To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
        Date: Thursday, 10 August 2000 23:01
        Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Potter publisher promotion


        >I'm afraid I have to support Ted on the marketing of the first HP
        >book. It just didn't exist. This is a small point and might be a
        >waste of a post, but I couldn't help jumping in here. Being on the
        >front lines of bookselling (and after nine years of retail, graduate
        >school or a career change is looking better every day) I see all of
        >the crazy marketing stuff months in advance. If a book begins to
        >take off I hear about in conference calls, talk about it in meetings,
        >and get way more advertising stuff then I know what to do with. In a
        >couple of weeks I will be flying back for a week conference with
        >other GM's where we will be spending days talking about how we are
        >going to promote all of the big titles that will be releasing this
        >Fall (Jordan, King, Martin, and the list goes on) - talk about a
        >boring conference. Anyway, Harry Potter caught us all by surprise.
        >I still kick myself almost every day for not buying the 1st US
        >edition. I first heard about it along with many others across the
        >country on NPR's fresh air (or whatever the evening program was) as I
        >was driving home from work. It sounded as though it was something I
        >might enjoy and the next day I looked it up and we had three copies
        >on-hand. I put one on hold, but then reshelved it thinking I
        >wouldn't end up buying it. Needless to say I wasn't alone and when I
        >changed my mind a few days later the books were gone and the hype had
        >began to build. Within a few months we did have stacks and yes it
        >was definately a bestseller and hasn't stopped, but when it first
        >released there was no hype or big marketing push in any of the
        >bookstores.
        >------------------
        >I agree with most everyone on the Rowling and Pullman comparison.
        >They are completely different.
        >------------------
        >I just started reading a Robin Hobb book, Ship of Magic. I'm
        >curious, has anyone else read her before and if so, what are your
        >feelings. She's from the Seattle area and I know she never was
        >popular in the 80's when she wrote under the Megan Lindholm name.
        >Ever since she changed her pen name to Robin Hobb her books have sold
        >like crazy. She's coming to town in a few weeks, so I decided to
        >give her a try. Any thoughts? Did she re-invent herself, do you
        >think the name made a difference, or was it just the early 90's when
        >a lot of the current big selling names first came out with books?
        >
        >Happy reading.
        >Donovan Mattole
        >General Manager
        >Borders Books & Music
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        >
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