Posts Tagged ‘Random House’

Using Generic Backgrounds in Product Highlights

You can enrich newsletter and social media posts by creating backgrounds to which you can apply different book cover images as needed. In this one, the purpose was to highlight three new release hardcovers from Penguin Random House that we are selling at a cheaper “our price” to try to cut the pain of PRH not providing ITPEs for the Canadian market.

If you’re using it a lot, you can vary the background colors using your favourite image editor. Then you add the titles and save it as a separate file:

Feel free to help yourselves to these.

Two of these were books I would like to have reviewed here, on Thinking Out Loud, and with a short excerpt at Christianity 201. If anyone from Waterbrook or Multnomah is reading this, it’s time to up your game with social media influencers in Canada.

An Open Letter to Tim Keller

Dear Tim

In between writing this letter’s paragraphs I’m standing at the counter at my store with an ink eraser trying to clean up the covers of your latest book Making Sense of God.

The book retails for $23 in Canada and the condition in which the merchandise was received was completely substandard. Honestly, I’ve received remainder books in better condition than this.

But how on Earth do I phone Penguin Random House and tell them I would like to return the entire shipment? I don’t think that would go over very well. I don’t think I would be believed, either.

Here’s the thing. You are partly to blame for this. You are the problem. Your insistence — or that of a literary agent who thinks they are acting on your best interests — on publishing all your books with the plainest, palest, whitest covers possible simply invites a situation in the retail environment where your books become completely shopworn. (For the record, each one of the books pictured above has a much nicer and more durable cover in the UK.)

I think part of that has to do with the fact that your tribe tends to take everything so very seriously. There’s no room for a creative cover. There’s no possibility of an illustration. There’s no consideration for a photographic image. That’s why I’m not attracted to your brand. The picture below shows three copies of the same book. At first I thought that these were some type of shading effect and then I realized it was different on every copy.

Here’s a thought. If you were to someday condescend and publish with one of the Christian owned publishing companies I think you would find that their warehouse staff — i.e. pickers, checkers, packers, and shippers — are more respectful of your product than the people currently handling these books who have no affinity for what you believe. Just something to consider.

I’m sure you think this is superficial; after all it’s what’s inside the books that counts, right? Well, no one will know if stores like mine are reluctant to carry them. We always look twice at books with pale covers and temper our order quantities accordingly. 

By the way, I really enjoyed Reason for God. I realize you can’t judge a book by its cover.

At first I thought it was an effect, but then I noticed the books weren’t marked the same on each copy. Of the 12 copies, not one escaped whatever this was. Considering they were picked out of a case lot — or case loaded to shelving — it makes no sense that all looked like this.


Random House to Sever Convergent from Waterbrook/Multnomah

Christianity Today reported yesterday that Random House is doing what it should have done in the first place, separating the editorial and marketing staff of Convergent Books from the staffs of Waterbrook and Multnomah. The move comes months after the controversy over the book God and the Gay Christian which argued that same-gender sex isn’t sin and resulted in the publisher being removed from the National Association of Religious Broadcasters (NRB). The two Evangelical imprints will continue to originate in Colorado Springs, while the Convergent products will now be based in New York City.

Click here to read the full story at CT.

Of interest to readers here is the image below showing the parentage of the various imprints in our stores. Note that the graphic separates out publishers and imprints, and places imprints into one of four categories:

  • Evangelical
  • Progressive
  • Catholic
  • broadly spiritual

Christian Publishing Imprints of Major Companies(not sure if this image is unique to CT, there was no credit given in the article)


Waterbrook Multnomah Excludes Canadian Bloggers From Review Program

November 15, 2010 2 comments

I’m always amazed at how seemingly intelligent companies can botch things on so many different levels.

Take Waterbrook Press’ attempt to crack the social media promotion thing.   The program was on-again, and then off-again, and then today it relaunched.   But as a Canadian blogger, with 74% U.S. readers at Thinking Out Loud, it’s impossible for me to sign up on their website.   I finally told them I lived in Ohio and that my zip code was 77777.

I’ll probably never  hear from them.

Who is the person who decided — many, many years ago — that Americans are incapable of typing in the name of their state?   Do that many people spell Hawaii and Mississippi incorrectly?   No matter whose site you’re on, you’re left with a pull-down menu of options.   Many contain Canadian provinces.  Many do not.

If Waterbrook wants to limit their social media promotion to the U.S., they should just say so.  But many publishers report some titles are disproportionately high in Canada.

Just remember whose economy kept working while the American economy was crashing.   And remember if we’re part of the U.S. royalty structure, that means we’re effectively part of the U.S. market.

Radical is the Hot Title for Summer

The cover sizzles like the hot summer sun.

The color foreshadows that Radical by Birmingham, Alabama pastor David Platt is the hot ticket for July and August sales.

You can find out why today on my other blog, Thinking Out Loud.   Or take the first link on this earlier post at T.O.L. and then click on “Chapter One” to read the first chapter of this powerful book.

Thanks to Waterbrook’s CDN distributor Augsburg-Fortress for a “must keep” copy of this to review.