Interesting, Different Conventions in Publishing… Synopses

DenfeldR-EnchantedUSHC Crop

I’ve been thinking a lot about some various different conventions in book publishing. Partly because I keep moving around, but also because one element of one of my jobs at a literary agency is keeping track of international editions of clients’ novels. Couple these two things with my ‘work’ on this blog, and I spend a lot of time reading publishers’ websites and catalogues. Recently, I’ve spotted a few books published in the UK and North America with quite different synopses (as well as covers), and I thought it might be interesting to take a look at a couple here. The differences aren’t massive by any means, and maybe I only picked up on them because I read so many. The differences between conventions in cover artwork are, however, much greater – I’ll put together another post about this in the future, I think.

The two novels that jumped out at me were Rene Denfeld‘s The Enchanted and Helen Giltrow‘s The Distance. I spotted them both first in Toronto, and thought they both looked really interesting (and, naturally, have bought them). Since then, I’ve seen that the novels are also published in the UK by Orion Books. With different covers and synopses, my interest in reading them only grew. To be clear, I don’t think whoever wrote the back cover text for either of these books’ North American editions did a bad job. I just think the UK synopses are a bit better, and exhibit some different conventions. Both of the novels are among my 2015 Must Reads. Let’s take the books one-by-one… Continue reading

Books Received: December #2 (Or, “It Rained Books Just Before Xmas…”)


A nice wave of new titles arrived or were purchased just before Christmas. I’ve just been slow about posting this, which means I’ve already read a couple (and dismissed a couple). Some more have arrived since, too, but I’ll post about those at the beginning of January.

Featuring: Kate Atkinson, Belinda Bauer, Gregory Benford, Douglas Brunt, Chelsea Cain, John Connolly, Christopher Farnsworth, Helen Giltrow, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Lev Grossman, Glenda Larke, Karen Lord, Alex Marhsall, Peyton Marshall, Brian McClellan, D.J. Molles, Syliva Moreno-Garcia, Mark Morris, Larry Niven, Claire North, Chuck Palahniuk, Matthew Pearl, D.B.C. Pierre, Jennifer Ridyard, Jeff Somers, Gabriel Squailia, Mark Sullivan, S.J. Watson, Jaye Wells Continue reading