Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Today's Weather Brought To You By Books!

I know, I've been a terrible blogger. Partly because I'm visiting family, and trying not to freeze to death in the process, partly because I got nothing. Blogging inspiration seems to have taken it's own Christmas break.

But I do have something today! I was watching the Today Show over breakfast when The Voiceover Guy informed my that "today's weather is brought to you by Putnam, publishers of Scarpetta, the new book by NY Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell." (or something to that effect).

Sure enough, after Weather Guy was done, and they went to break, there was a commercial for Scarpetta. Now, I've seen TV commercials for books before. Most notably bestselling hot shots like John Grisham and J.D. Robb. What I'm wondering is if with the current state of the economy and publishing in general if we're going to see more of these? Will publishers be buying more air time to pimp the latest books by James Patterson? Mary Higgins Clark? Stephen King? Nicholas Sparks?

I don't think that publishers are going to be shelling out money for commercials for their midlist or debut authors - but for authors who have already "proven" themselves by landing on bestseller lists? Yeah, I'm thinking they might. If only in the hopes of driving up sales numbers. But time will tell.

In the meantime, here's an extended cut of Cornwell's commercial.


Jessica said...

Since you mentioned midlist, let me ask: what exactly Is a midlist author? Or rather, who is one?

Hope you have a great holiday, and just rememebwr: some of us don't get to leave the cold when the vacation is over!

Nicole said...

I saw a really good one once, but can't remember what it was.

The commercials for Dean Koontz's newest are really stupid and look incredibly low-budget.

Liza said...

I've seen several for James Patterson and Nora Roberts/JD Robb. The ones I've seen so far look pretty professional.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I have seen this commercial every morning for the past week.
Didn't she leave her husband for another woman a few years back?

Wendy said...

Jessica: I swiped this definition from Wikipedia because I think it explains it really well:

"Midlist is a term in the publishing industry which refers to books which are not bestsellers but are strong enough to economically justify their publication (and likely, further purchases of future books from the same author). The vast majority of total titles published are midlist titles, though they represent a much smaller fraction of total book sales, which are dominated by bestsellers and other very popular titles."

Nicole: Now I need to hit YouTube for Dean Koontz. Thanks....I think.

Liza: There was a J.D. Robb one this past summer (I think?) that I thought was particularly well done.

Katie: LOL - Yeah, I just don't watch the Today Show like I used to, or I would have noticed it sooner.

Cornwell has been divorced for many years. There was a scandal a few years back involving her and a married female FBI agent - allegations of an affair etc. I try to know as little as possible about authors' personal lives (I just prefer it that way!), but I think Cornwell does have a relationship these days with a woman.....

Jessica said...

Thanks for that definition of "midlist", Wendy. Very helpful, although it does include quite a lot, doesn't it?

Sherry Thomas said...


The definition I found somewhere--can't remember where--is that when publishing houses go to their customers, the booksellers, each month's titles are ranked on a list, from the lead title on down.

The sales rep's dream is that the bookseller will order the whole list. But most often, due to shelf space, competition and whatnot, the bookseller will order say, just the top five books on the list, or just the top three.

And midlist means that you are somewhere in the middle of the list, and you might or might not get the order. Or if you do, the quantity of orders you get is certain to be less than that of the lead title.

Or such is my understanding.