Wading through the sea of Print-on-Demand titles, one overpriced paperback at a time--and giving you the buried treasure.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Pandora's Box: Let's begin
What does this blog have to do with cover art? Nothing, really--other than the occasional slam of a POD here and there.
But I have had so many discussions over the years about covers that it is worth bring up now and again(writers are very sensitive about the way their books look; book covers are the sexy clothes that hide the imperfect bodies underneath.)
Think the McCafferty/Weiner covers were similar? What about these two babies. The image on the left is from Will Clarke's DON'T ABUSE THE MUSE (published May 2004) and the image on the right is from Collective Soul's YOUTH cd (released November 2004.)
Now, I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to art, so these may be knock-offs of some famous piece of work (and, if so, I will no doubt hear from the masses.) But seriously, this is some serious copyright infringement (or whatever) on the part of Collective Soul (or whoever.) Or maybe it was just stock photography, purchased but never retired. Who knows. But it's nice to know a self-published book beat an industry giant, in any case.
Does plagiarism count for art, too? (Facetiousness abounds.) Let's get Ms. Weiner's attorney on the phone and shake the whole publishing world to it's. . . .
Oh, who cares.
There is good news for Megan McCafferty out of all of this, though: She will see a certain sales spike from all of the attention. In fact, the rank for SLOPPY FIRSTS on Amazon is up to 733 from 1,546 (yesterday)--which is a much farther journey than rising from 2,548,820 to 1,722,988.
As for Viswanathan? She better keep working on that degree from Harvard (and hopefully Jenny Rudolph Walsh hasn't spent all of her commish); books sales will not continue to be hot like they were for James Frey. Despite his false stories, Frey's book was written well; Viswanathan's book was written already. Big difference.
I'll take a bad POD title over an imitation/copycat any day. There is a reason you pay $10K for the Rolex from the jeweler instead of $25 from the guy on the corner. Go buy the real original.
PS: I was kidding about wanting a bad POD. Seriously.
If only Kaavya Viswanathan were more like James Frey
It seems James Frey can't stop making things up--and it seems like Kaavya Viswanathan can't make up much at all.
Kaavya Viswanathan, author of the novel HOW OPAL MEHTA GOT KISSED, GOT WILD, AND GOT IN, is now being probed for issues of plagiarism. Her book has strikingly similar (okay, identical) sentences to those found in Megan F. McCafferty's SLOPPY FIRSTS and SECOND HELPINGS.
The debut novel, which Publishers Marketplace reports was sold for "just under $500,000", is now getting hammered, a la James Frey. No wonder it was worth a half mil'; it was already a bestseller.
I am an author and instructor, in that order (for now.) My debut novel (which debuted in the midlist) was released by Penguin Putnam in 2004 and my second novel was released early 2006.
As for this blog, it has been profiled in many online magazines, blogs and news stories, including the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, the Boston Globe, the Dallas Morning News, the LA Times and Publishers Lunch.
To answer the deluge of questions I have been receiving from publicists: I'll review pretty much anything that is good--but it better be good, or I'll never look at another one of your books again. Then I'll hunt you down. Fiction preferred (no fantasy or young adult, go easy on the science fiction.) Non-fiction should be memoir, humor, self-help. Definite no-nos: cookbooks, textbooks, porn, books without verbs. And it must be POD (no small presses.) Otherwise, email with pitch first.