A complicated picture
When I said that it was difficult to track down blogging efforts of the various imprints and divisions, I had Hachette in mind. With tentables stretching across oceans and languages (Appropriately enough for the owner of Octopus group)
The first and most obvious blog is from Little, Brown Book Group and while it’s not quite as free and open as some others out there it is coming along fairly well. It still has the feel of a corporate blog drive centrally and by PR rather than RO (real people). It is relatively young not even a year old yet so there is time to find a stride that works.
But there are other company efforts on the web. The Orbit blog I read it all the time because my Science Fiction addiction is kicking back into high gear to the detriment of my non-fiction reading. It offers a great deal for the reader which I like, it still has a slightly corporate tone, but you cannot win them all.
Lastly, I think, there is a Virago blog on Myspace, not much to it really but perhaps it’s worth a visit.
Assessing it all
To my mind, Little, Brown are missing a trick. the Orbit site shows that they can do blogs pretty well. If I’m not mistaken they have some talented people working on the digital side of things so that might not be surprising. The Little, Brown blog has more untapped potential and I think that will be realised soon.
It’s the virago offering and the absent blog that worries me. Virago is a lively force in publishing and their website has more engaging content than this afterthought Facebook blog. There is a decent short and real review of one of the books from a commissioning editor:
Forget The Rules or any of today’s books that have you obsessing about how a potential partner might see you. This book doesn’t tell you to quiet down because men like demure women. It doesn’t tell you not to argue your point too much (otherwise the poor darlings might feel threatened). It doesn’t prescribe what you should wear (just a bit of cleavage — not too much — don’t want to be seen as ‘easy’ now, do you, ladies?) What it does is tell you, in no uncertain terms, that if you’re not interested in life, you won’t be interesting to anyone else. In a wonderful, no-nonsense tone, it advises having an open mind, trying out new things, and embracing life to the full
The Missing Name
Is of course John Murray. Maybe it’s only me bit with a brand like that in your arsenal I’d have gotten it linked to a blogging effort somehow. a quick glance at wikipedia will give people a fair idea of the background and potentialthe name has. That’s the missed trick for me!
So with hachette rounding off the majors, I propose to do a sweep of the rest of the trade early next week, firstly because it will take time, secondly because I need to do some more research and thirdly because it really is slightly manic at work this week!