I recently wrote an ecstatic review of a book by a U.K. writer. Fortunately, I wasn’t beholden to the U.S. publisher at the time. The book is months from its U.S. release date. The U.S. publisher would probably have requested that I hold off on the review. I would have if asked since I always honor such requests.
But I’m sure that the U.K. publisher is pleased that I didn’t wait to post the review. The book has just launched in the U.K. The writer is very happy with me and Three Guys does have British readers.
Three Guys One Book has more readers in New York City than any other place. But one of the places that we have a concentration of readers is London. Three Guys is read in over 50 countries. That’s not such a big deal for a noted book blog. Most book blogs of some reputation have a global readership.
I’m gratified if I gave the writer some pr on the launch of his book tour. I wanted to help my literary friend. The domestic marketing concerns of his local publisher aren’t my focus although, of course, I want to help if I can. We would always be happy to rerun the review later if asked.
I recently got a Twitter following from a media consultant in Sidney. I would probably have a lot more fun putting down Fosters with that Australian marketing executive than I would have with my neighbor down the block who doesn’t know anything about the arcane business that I am in.
Every book has its own postal code in the geography of literature. But mind you, I still know what a Fosters is. It happens that I love Australian culture…pop…film…books…whatever. I hear The Slap is awesome. I don’t see why I should be confined to what they are doing in Brooklyn.
The Three Guys have received galleys from U.K. publishers. Imagine that, they were willing to ship galleys overseas to us. In the case of books that will be released the the U.S. a year later, that puts us nearly two years ahead of the American release date for the book.
Recently, I got excited about the debut novel that won the Costa Award. I wasn’t able to get a galley from the house that will be the American publisher. Not available yet or maybe there will not be an ARC in this case. What sometimes happens is that the U.S. publisher may give you a copy of the British edition if they have one lying around the office.
But no results on my ARC request and I didn’t want to wait. You develop a nose for the books you are going to love. So I ordered this debut from a U.K. source and had it dispatched to me. I think that’s great. They don’t ship product in England. They dispatch it. Makes me feel like I’m gentry.
My review of that book is posted on Three Guys. I see that JC happened to use the British cover. I don’t think the American cover is going to be as interesting. You can’t beat Goya as a source for your book designer. Plus there was some sparkly stuff on the cover that I liked.
Sometimes I prefer the U.K. cover to the American cover. There’s something refreshing about graphics that I know are not being designed to appeal to my local demographic. Maybe that’s one reason I’m a fan of Fosters. I know that some Harry Potter fans in the U.S. happen to prefer the English covers of Rowling’s series and have imported them.
One of my favorite bookstores that I’ve never been to is Daunts in London. I fell in love with them from the photos on their website. I saw pictures of their customers thoughtfully browsing through their beautiful shelving and wished that I could be there. I was there in the sense that bookstores are in my blood. I could smell the tired air in the dusky storerooms from my years as a bookstore clerk. I wish I was still young enough to stand for eight hours a day among piles of books helping customers.
I know that publisher marketing departments have responsibilities for a certain set of zip codes. But why should I be overly concerned that they can’t read the book yet in Middletown, U.S.A. when I know that I have blog readers in the north of England and in Barcelona? I have to take care of those people too. Each book has its own postal code in the geography of literature. Over there is over here.