Publishing House Homepage

A publishing house is a company that largely publishes and distributes literary works under their own brand. I chose which publishing houses to based on their popularity and success, such as Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, and Hyperion Books, but I also included publishing houses that are not so well known, such as the Cracked Jar Press and Nephilim Press. The publishing houses are divided up largely based on what works they publish. Generally, a publishing house will focus on publishing only a few or even one certain type of writing. For example, the Nephilim Press specializes on publishing works of the occult and other such geared writing. The homepage for the publishing house website gives the reader a first impression of what they can expect out of that publishing house.

The homepage is the first page that a reader interacts with upon visiting the publishing house’s website. Because of that first impression, the homepage often has some sort of symbol or emblem that designates that publishing house. For example, the Cracked Jar Press has a static symbol of, quite literally, a cracked jar outlined in white that symbolizes the company. These emblems, whether they are images or simply a statement of the name of the publishing house, such as in the upper left hand corner of the Penguin Random House homepage, they all serve a secondary purpose other than signifying what publishing house a reader is interacting with. They also serve as a static link that a reader can click on to return to the homepage of the publishing house regardless of where they are in the website. There are also static links to other sections of the website that are divided into headings and menu links that allow the reader to easily access the information that is provided. These static elements help the reader have control over what information they are seeing and when they choose to see it.

One frequent inclusion on the homepage is a link to the publishing house’s social media accounts. This can include links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Social media is a tool that many companies and organizations utilize in this modern society so as to expand their audience and establish a means of connectedness and communication with their readers. These links can be found either at the top of the page or the bottom of it, but they all feature a picture that symbolizes that specific social media domain, such as a camera for Instagram and a bird for Twitter. A move to social media interaction and communication works to modernize the publishing house and keep it relevant with the times, as well as because it opens up a convenient and efficient means of communication with the reader that was previously only plausible through email, phone call, personal visit, or letter. This new form of communication, on the other hand, is almost instantaneous. As well as links to the publishing houses’ social media accounts, there is also a place for the reader to submit their email address or otherwise become involved with the publishing house by subscribing to their newsletter. The social media and newsletter links, as well as the contact page that allows the reader to submit a comment or question directly, all serve the communicative purpose of the publishing house to connect and relate to its readers.

 

Hachette Book Group: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/

Penguin Random House: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/

Hyperion Books: http://hyperionbooks.com/

Cracked Jar Press: http://www.crackedjarpress.com/

Nephilim Press: https://www.nephilimpress.com/

Advertisements

Book Reviews

The book reviews that I analyzed I found at Tor.com, an online publication. I chose books that are familiar to a wide range of people and whose authors are noted as some of the greatest living of the time or are extremely popular: The Shining by Stephen King, You Suck! by Chritopher Moore, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief, and The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. The reviews are all posted by professional literary critics that have reviewed publications before.

The reviews generally start with a brief summary or synopsis of the work that they are analyzing. This includes a run down of the plot as well as the characters and their place in the work. It gives a decent outline of what can be expected to be addressed in the book as well as what kind of characters and situations that are being dealt with. The length of the summary does not seem to follow a particular format or pattern. Some go into quite a bit of detail in the plot in the summaries, such as in the review for The Clockwork Angel, while others choose to keep it short and straight to the point so that the readers have less of an idea of what is all included in the book, such as in the review for the Mockingjay.

After the summary, the writer addresses specific events or parts of the book that they happened to find interesting in one way or another. For example, the writer for the You Suck! review describes “what struck [her] in particular”, while the writer for the Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief chose to include her favorite part of the book and why it stuck and resonated with her. What follows includes an analysis of the book, as well as the plot and the characters, so as to point out either interesting character development or to praise specific techniques that the author used to achieve a certain affect.

Along the same line as discussing the success of the author and the writing, the review also notoriously contains criticism for what the writer or the book failed to do for the reviewer. For example, the reviewer for Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief wrote about “what bothered [her] about this section of the book” and the reviewer for Mockingjay lamented its flaws such as in the characterization. Whatever praise is mentioned in the review is tampered by some amount of criticism, which is to be expected of the genre. Without negative feedback being involved, I could hardly describe it as criticism.

Lastly, upon weighing what the author has done well against their failings, the writer gives a judgment on whether the book was favorable or unfavorable to them. This is directly addressed near the end of the review in which the writer either encourages others to read it or declares their dissatisfaction with the writing. For example, the reviewer for The Clockwork Angel harshly interjects that the book “left [her] cold and unimpressed”. On the other hand, the reviewer for You Suck! end his review by asking the audience “what more could you want?” out of the reader about the book. The ending judgment of the book that the writer is reviewing is perhaps the most important part. A good review could mean more traffic for the writer and a greater profit, but a bad review could hurt a book’s market or the writer’s reputation.

 

The Shining: http://www.tor.com/2012/11/01/the-great-stephen-king-reread-the-shining/

You Suck!: http://www.tor.com/2009/01/16/review-you-suck/

Mockingjay: http://www.tor.com/2010/08/26/suzanne-collinss-mockingjay/

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief: http://www.tor.com/2010/07/21/book-review-rick-riordans-the-lightning-thief/

Clockwork Angel: http://www.tor.com/2010/09/09/book-review-clockwork-angel-by-cassandra-clare-the-infernal-devices-book-1/