Friday, January 11, 2008

Back in September I deplored under the headline Franco-Naff graphics
the achingly twee illustration style adopted by publishers bringing out books featuring Anglo ex-pats in France. I was reminded of this by the arrival yesterday from Escondido, California, of a copy of Helena-Frith Powell's book (above, bottom left), sent by my old friend J via the US Postal Service and a mere six days in transit. (Guess I'd forgotten how good snail mail can sometimes be!). Thanks, J!

A further element of one of those 'coincidence clusters' which seem to be crowding my life at the moment was the latest post by Petite Anglaise (whose book will be out next month). Her topic was the strangeness of seeing her manuscript Americanized for the US edition, both in terms of word equivalences and spelling differences. She made the salient point that we Brits are perfectly happy to read American fiction which has, of course, not been Anglicized for our consumption. So why not vice versa? The comments to her post are, well, expressions of a wide spectrum of opinion!

An interesting side-bar to the above; somehow J managed to send from California the UK edition, priced in Pounds Sterling, which is a bit mysterious... And also, I won't be getting a chance to read it until my daughter has finished it, she as francophile as her Papa!

Petite Anglaise had no real objection to the cover art her publisher came up with for her debut novel. Frankly I would have freaked out if a similar suggestion had been made with regard to the publication of my own 950 page manuscript. I like clean. I like graphic. I like the font FF DIN.

Not that this threat ever loomed. Thirty-five covering letters with three sample chapters failed to elicit positive interest from any of the British publishers I contacted. It is in response to such deafening silence that self-publishing becomes an alternative to be considered.

Next manifestation of the 'coincidence cluster'. Former Sandlander Keefieboy posts here today about the upcoming print-on-demand launch of his own book in response to massive publisher indifference.

Add a final coincidence; I just got an email announcing the the bow of Podshow Press, an interesting hybrid approach to self-publishing with an audiobook-to-print migration contingent upon audience uptake of the chapters offered as podcasts.

Now I'm wondering if I should turn the clock back to January last year, when I was on the verge of a starting a self-publishing effort which, alas, I had to break off after seven weeks. Maybe the coincidence cluster is telling me it's time to give it another go? Why not, the content may possibly be written off as Franco-Twaddle, but at least it will not be packaged à la Franco-Naff.

1 comment:

nzm said...

That style of book cover isn't just on Franco-Anglo book covers - it's a general trend on all chick-lit books.

Some of Marian Keyes' works for example. Enough to put me off buying them - let alone the content.