A while ago, I posted Investigated – Indie and Self Published Books, but today we are going to talk about “mainstream” publishers. Publishers like HarperCollins, Random House, Harlequin, etc… The question of the day is do you judge books based on what publishing company published them?
I never really payed attention to what publisher published a certain book. I always payed more attention to the cover, the author, and the title. The publisher was something that sometimes registered, but usually not. It didn’t impact if I wanted to read a book or not, or what standards to hold it up to. Sadly, I only really became more aware of the different publishers after I started blogging. Only then did I start to somewhat “categorize” publishers and the books they publish. For example, take Disney Hyperion. They generally are more of a middle school level and sometimes can seem more childish. However, I cannot remember a Disney Hyperion book I did not like. Some books published by them include the Percy Jackson series, the Gallagher series, and the Heist Society series, all of which I absolutely enjoyed reading.
The question about the different “main” publishers and the prestige they hold came up when one of my friends asked me for a book recommendation. I told her Book A was a really good book. But she said “No way! But that’s published by Publisher A, and the books they publish usually suck!” I honestly did not understand what she was talking about. With my knowledge of publishers (which still isn’t a lot), no publisher really stood out above the rest. Sure maybe I think Disney Hyperion is a bit more childish, and HarperCollins has a penchant for dystopians, but to me, they are all just as likely as one another to publish good books. It’s not like I’m going to come across a book to read and put it back down because of who published it. Even if that publisher hasn’t published a lot of books that I liked, the publisher of a book still isn’t something I consciously pay attention to.
Okay, okay, I will admit if I do notice the publisher and it happens to be one I don’t really like, I will approach the book more warily. I probably will still give it a try though. It’s just that sometimes the big publishers are looking for something in particular. Not so much of a formula, but more a specific genre or like a certain taste. And if I feel a publisher has a reputation of publishing certain types of books that I don’t particularly enjoy reading, I will tend to spend more time debating if reading a book published by them is worth it. I will, however, never refuse a book straight out after finding out the publisher, unlike my “friend”.
What about you?
Do you think some publishers have certain reputations?