Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Breakfast with the Bookie - Readers : Do You Judge a Book by the Publisher?

Breakfast with the Bookie is a weekly feature hosted here at Badass Bookie. Every Wednesday morning (or afternoon depending on where you are) I post a discussion post for everyone to read along with morning up of coffee ;)

Today's Topic - Readers : Do You Judge a Book by the Publisher ?

An author is a writer whose work has been published by themselves ( self-publishing) or by a publishing house. Today let's discuss whether a book can be judged not only by it's cover but by the publishing house as well?

I confess I do judge books by the publisher. When I buy books ( not so often now) I usually have a few that I want to take home with me but being a broke teenager, I usually can only buy one. That's when the publisher comes in, I not only judge books by their cover, I judge them by the publisher as well. I'm more likely to buy the book published by a bigger and more well-known publisher than a smaller publishing house or books written by Indie Authors.

It doesn't necessary mean books published by bigger publishing houses like Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillian and Hachette are better written than say, a book written by an Indie Author but the publisher is my safety rope for where I put my money. I feel safer buying a book published by a bigger publishing house because a) I have read other books published by them b) the part of me that says, if they're published by a big publishing house it must be good. That might not be true, I've read excellent books published by Indie authors and horrible books published by big publishers but like I said, the publisher is my safety rope.

It's the same thing with review requests. I read about ten books a month. I'm more likely to accept review requests reviewing books published by bigger publishing houses then a smaller one if I hadn't heard about the book before hand. The reason behind this is because of the safety rope as well as the fact that I want to review books that readers and bloggers have heard about, that way they are more likely to read the review. As well as that, since I no longer accept E-Book requests, only a limited about of small publishing houses are willing to send print copies all the way to Australia.

For me, the publishing house acts as a safety rope to whether or not I will enjoy a book. I judge books not only by their cover but also by their publisher, what about you? Let's discuss!

Badass Bookie xx


  1. You know what, before I became a serious writer - I never even looked at who published a book. I looked at the genre, the cover, read the back and decided to buy it. You know what else? Most of my friends still purchase books that way today. There is a small percentage of readers that do go the extra mile and look at publishers, but truthfully, most people just want a nice cover and a great book. I purchased tons of Indie/Self-pub books in college. As an African American growing up in a time where books didn't have my face on them, many African American writers would visit my college and sell then sign their books. I still own most of those books today. When I got into the writing business I couldn't believe how many of my peers didn't understand their potential. Sure getting an agent and then a large publisher to pay an advance, give you wide distribution, pay some of the advertising cost and not pressure you to do or invest your own money into marketing is great. But for those authors that don't mind running a business, and opening their own doors (while working harder to do so) opportunity awaits them. Nowadays, no matter how a writer decides to get their work out there, they have to devote some time selling it. Writer=Business Entity = Products (written works) = Sell (it to a publisher or yourself). I don't see how either road is different with the exception of profit. Get profit now or get profit later with more financial investment. What does that boild down to? Choices for writers. Meaning 1 book I sell to a Large publisher - but another book I sell myself. Making the writer now in full ownership of themselves as a business entity who choses the best way to sell their product.

  2. For me first and foremost is the genre, then storyline and cover, but I consider publisher too. I have to admit I tend to buy books from big well-known publishers more because, like you said, its my safety rope. I have several favorite publishers because I know they release the type of book I like. That doesn't mean I wont buy or pick indie book, though.

  3. I agree with you in a way, LM Preston - only it was blogging that brought me to noticing publishers. I wouldn't have considered them before I blogged but now they do play a small part in my buying process.
    Normally I check out a book's title (obviously) and if it sounds like something I read - I suppose intuition steps in here - then I'll suss out the cover and blurb. Covers are a major part of book buying for me too!
    But I do occasionally glance to see who the publisher is! I don't think it's a deciding factor in whether I buy the book (although I guess I am more likely to buy a big name pubbed book as opposed to an indie book) but it does make me stop and go 'oohhh, so it's a [insert publisher here] book - I like there stuff..'

    Hmmm... this really is an interesting one to think about...

  4. I do judge by publishers. There are some publishers that I love and I know I will love the books from them - HarperTeen would be the first that pops to mind. Lately, though, I have been highly enjoying every book I have read from Sourcebooks (any of their imprints).

  5. When buying books I don't judge by publisher, then it's more like 'ooh I recognize that title/author' or 'pretty cover!!!'. But when I request books through NetGalley, I must admit I do tend to judge by the publisher. I've had a couple of misses with one publisher and now I think twice about requesting one of theirs.

  6. I tend to go for cover first (bad I know but it really is what makes me pick up a book!), then I'll check out the story line and then the publisher is an afterthought. I know that I lean towards certain publishers because I've enjoyed a lot of their books in the past and if I'm on the fence that will usually be the deciding factor.

    Like you, I'm a student, so I have to be really selective. If it works to help me find books I'll enjoy (in the store) then yay! I still actively search for smaller publishing houses online though, sometimes you can find such interesting books that way!

  7. I don't pay attention to publishers when I'm buying. I couldn't even tell you what publishers I've purchased from in the past! But, this certainly makes me wonder if I do purchase from certain publishers more often than others.

  8. Lately I pay attention more to who published a book especially on Netgalley. Granted, I'm not purchasing those books, but titles by Carina Press make me wary because the premises are so interesting but the actual stories are thinly disguised romances.

    Also, among the fantasy books, I find that I'm much more likely to give a book a chance if the publisher is TOR because I've liked so many books which TOR has published although I'm starting to like Orbit as well.

  9. Hmm I don't judge a book by the publisher but after many years or borrowing books from the library I do tend to more readily pick up books by SimonSchuster/Simon Pulse because I've always liked them. Other than that though, not really!

  10. I can say that publisher DOES have some effect on me. Such as, if it's a self-published, in which case I will tread carefully. Say, with MINDER by Kate Kaynak. Great series, unknown publisher, but it had that hype to back it up.

    I'm particular to specific imprints and publishers, but the only time when the publisher has a huge impact is when it's a) unknown or b) has published AMAZING books time after time.

  11. I don't judge by publisher. I read what sounds good from book bloggers like you. I do agree as a book blogger that you should read what you know.