From agent Wendy Lawton:
I was recently talking to a client about traditionally published books vs. self published books. She worried that with so many under-edited and half-baked books* making their way to the market, readers might get frustrated by the lack of excellence and ultimately give up on books. “How does a reader identify professionally written and professionally edited books so they know what they are getting when they order a book?”
Good question, right?
I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the publisher’s name on a book is going to become more and more important as a sign of a certain level of quality. I believe it could become as recognizable as Louis Vuitton to handbags, JimmyChoo to shoes, and Harley Davidson to motorcycles. I’m saying that publishers need to start thinking about branding their books more prominently. The way it stands now, I’m guessing the average reader couldn’t tell you who published the last book they read.
. . . .
I think publishers need to start thinking of their brand as an identifier– a mark of distinction. When you see the Bethany logo on the front of an inspirational novel, for instance, you can be sure you’re in for a satisfying read that’s been edited, copyedited and professionally designed. And yes, I said front cover. With all the books sold online, the front cover is often the only cover shown.
Wouldn’t it be fun to begin to recognize the distinctives of each publisher?
Link to the rest at Books & Such Literary Agency and thanks to Mira for the tip.