Tag Archives: marketing

50 Shades of ‘Fifty Shades’

Since Fifty Shades of Grey continues to be the biggest chatter in the world of book news, I thought I’d fill you in on a whole bunch of Fifty Shades news stories, or as I like to call it, the 50 Shades of Fifty Shades. Enjoy!

**Fifty Shades penthouses for sale: Penthouses in the Escala building, where most of the kinky sex in the Fifty Shades books takes place, are now up for sale. That’s right; the Escala building in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, WA is real. According to Huffington Post, penthouses typically cost between $4 million and $6 million. About a year ago, the building and its condos started to become a tourist attraction for the book’s avid fans. It caused so much chaos that the penthouses are now only being shown to those who are serious about purchasing; those interested must be pre-approved and pre-qualified. But hey, there are pictures to look at. A girl can dream, right?

**Fifty Shades merchandise on the way: With each big book series comes a massive market for merchandise. Think of all the Harry Potter and Twilight products you’ve seen in the past few years. Well according to The Hollywood Reporter, Fifty Shades of Grey is about to do the same, offering Fifty Shades perfume, lingerie, beauty products and adult products aimed at women. (Feel free to let your brain run wild with that one.) No specifics on products yet, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll sell well no matter what they are.

**Synonyms that would make Fifty Shades of Grey better: Whether you like the series or not, there’s one thing we can all agree on: the writing is definitely not elite. So here’s a list, compiled by Vulture, of the book’s worst synonyms. This isn’t necessarily newsworthy, but it will certainly make you smile.

Okay. I’m Fifty Shaded out. You’re welcome.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under News Articles

Male vs. Female Authors: The Double Standard

How likely is it that a man goes to a bookstore and purchases a pink book with a picture of a stiletto on it? Or a little girl on a farm? How likely is it that a woman goes to a bookstore and purchases a red book with bold, black typeface and some kind of faraway landscape? The fact of the matter is people really do judge books by their covers. And if that book seems remotely feminine and has a female author, a man will likely move on to the next shelf.

According to this important essay in The New York Times, “women’s fiction” consists of books that are written by women. But they’re not necessarily for women. And they certainly aren’t always “chick lit.” But many tend to lump women’s fiction and chick lit together — identifying these books as silly, quick reads about women and their romantic relationships with men as well as their friendships with other women. Essayist Meg Wolitzer uses Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot as an example of the exception to the rule — a book that has mainly feminine themes, but is written by a male. It’s been hugely successful, but women write books with similar content and themes all the time and don’t get nearly as much recognition. Is it simply because they’re women?

Furthermore, women’s fiction and chick lit are not the same. Women’s fiction can be as serious as any man’s book. And whereas a woman tends to be open to reading a book written by a man, men aren’t necessarily as inclined to read books written by women, as Meg Wolitzer explains.

Recently at a social gathering, when a guest found out I was a writer, he asked, “Would I have heard of you?” I dutifully told him my name — no recognition, fine, I’m not that famous — and then, at his request, I described my novels. “You know, contemporary, I guess,” I said. “Sometimes they’re about marriage. Families. Sex. Desire. Parents and children.” After a few uncomfortable moments he called his wife over, announcing that she, who “reads that kind of book,” was the one I ought to talk to. When I look back on that encounter, I see a lost opportunity. When someone asks, “Would I have heard of you?” many female novelists would be tempted to answer, “In a more just world.”

Wolitzer explains that women’s books are actually less reviewed, according to statistics gathered by a women’s literary organization called VIDA. She talks about the length of books, their covers, their jackets. But ultimately it all comes back to who has written the book. Wolitzer goes into incredible depth with this essay, and I urge you to read it in its entirety. While I often don’t think much about who wrote the book I’m reading, it’s something I’ll begin to consider now.

5 Comments

Filed under Author News, News Articles

First Came Smartphones, Now Come Smart Books

As if smartphones don’t already do enough thinking for you, now they will be equipped to assist with your reading.

According to this article by the L.A. Times, Atria will begin publishing books with smart chips inside. They will be compatible with NFC-enabled (Near Field Communication) smartphones to provide additional materials for the book.

Right now, the concept is mostly functioning as a marketing tool. Shoppers can use their phones at the bookstore to see what else the books have to offer. The ability to interactively connect with the book lures in the buyer, instantly sparking further interest in the material.

So if books that might otherwise be overlooked start to use this technology, they might do better in sales than anticipated. Though the author of the article brings up a few good points.

I guess this makes me old-fashioned: the way I decide to buy a book in a bookstore is to pick it up and look inside. Would it be possible for a book with a smart chip that adds enhanced content, rather than marketing? How could it be packaged if the book is sitting there on the shelf, easy to flip through?

The first smart book Atria is publishing is The Impulse Economy: Understanding Mobile Shoppers and What Makes Them Buy by Gary Schwartz.

What do you think? If a book were a “smart book,” would you be more inclined to buy it?

1 Comment

Filed under News Articles