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[tor dot com] Why Editors Matter: David Hartwell's Extraordinary Timescape Books
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James Nicoll
2018-06-06 17:20:11 UTC
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Why Editors Matter: David Hartwell's Extraordinary Timescape Books

https://www.tor.com/2018/06/06/why-editors-matter-david-hartwell-and-timescape-books/
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Quadibloc
2018-06-07 00:53:03 UTC
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I can think of a reason why the Timescape books did not sell well.

The cover design, with the "Timescape" imprint featured prominently, will make
many buyers unfamiliar with the series, walking into a bookstore, automatically
assume this is some kind of young adult series, and maybe one of those choose-
your-own-adventure things.

So if they're publishing good SF worthy of critical acclaim in that series... they
have a cover design guaranteed to scare away a lot of the people looking for just
that kind of book.

This is a sort of "what were they thinking" moment.

John Savard
Chris Buckley
2018-06-07 17:46:29 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
I can think of a reason why the Timescape books did not sell well.
The cover design, with the "Timescape" imprint featured prominently, will make
many buyers unfamiliar with the series, walking into a bookstore, automatically
assume this is some kind of young adult series, and maybe one of those choose-
your-own-adventure things.
So if they're publishing good SF worthy of critical acclaim in that series... they
have a cover design guaranteed to scare away a lot of the people looking for just
that kind of book.
This is a sort of "what were they thinking" moment.
It's possible that a few people may have been scared away, but I doubt
it was significant. The design worked as it should have for me; if I
saw a Timescape cover I would at least seriously consider it and
probably buy it.

"Critically acclaimed" books means there are other introductions to
the publishing series than just browsing, and once a reader has been
introduced, there is no longer any negative problem with the Timescape
imprint.

Chris

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