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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Potter publisher promotion

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Aug 10, 2000
      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!
      Author site:

      -----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
      >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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