Thursday, December 9, 2010

(Some of) My Pretties!

Yeah, I can't help myself with this "Best Of" ish that is going around. Here are some of the best covers I saw in 2010. Books may or may not be published in 2010, it's only that I saw the cover this year.

Gorgeous. I normally am not a fan of birds (on covers or in general, actually) but this is simply too beautiful to let slip by.

There is some room in our lives for pure hotness. Yes, Yes, we can talk about background image goodness and dark & stormy nights, but bottom line? He is hot. I could (and did) stare at those arms all day.

I'm not sure if the book lived up to the cover, but it looks amazing. The colors are vibrant, the detail is crisp. I know it's just "another dress cover" but with so many, it's easy to see one that stands out. The terrace door is open, and it almost looks like she's chilly! The moon seems to be hung a little low but.....

yeah, there is nothing pretty or charming or cute about this one. But it also looks very tactile. I wince whenever I see it.

If someone said the words "Urban Fantasy" to me, this is how I would picture the world. It has that SF feel to it. A very Post-Apocalyptic, Noir, Gotham City feel. I haven't read it yet (actually had forgotten all about it) but the cover did it's job and it is on it's way.

There were very few category romance covers this year that made me think "Damn, they are hot!" This one was one of them. The title is dumb, yes. I'll give you that. I have no idea if the book was any good (but I'm going to put a hold on it right now) but the COVER.......the cover is rockin the sexy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

1st runners up

Yeah, I have to at least give a shout out to two more audio pubs.

Books on tape: I'm not in love with 100% of their product or their policies, but they have worked CONSIDERABLY to lower the price of their audiobooks. Libraries are hurting, yes, and we're just not buying $100 and $200 dollar titles anymore. While there is still an audiobook company that hasn't gotten that message yet, BOT worked with libraries to lower their prices. I appreciate that. Is it perfect? No. Their backlist is still priced out of the range of most libraries, and they didn't lower the price on their Overdrive catalog. But, the prices on their physical frontlist titles were drastically reduced and that has to be commended. The reps listened (at least ours did) when we shared our concerns and there was a change. You can't ask for more than that.

If you are not familiar with GraphicAudio, you are missing out. I know I've mentioned them before, but they are fantastic. It is all multi-voiced audio of books usually relegated to spinner racks in libraries (if they carry them at all). You have your Rogue Angels and your Survivalist and your Deathlands. You have your SF ranging from Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War to Axler's Outlanders. My personal favorites are the DC comics. It only makes me wish some of my favorite Marvel characters were given the same treatment! Sure, people mock the books, but the audios are truly an experience. If you have long car rides, it will make them fly. I bought them on a whim and not get requests for them. Hard to get a bigger endorsement than that. They're not expensive, come in great cases (you can get them through MidwestTapes also if that is your main audio vendor) and you really can't get more entertainment for your library dollar. If you have a patron base that might like this, I urge you to give them a try.

My audio pub of the year

It doesn't come with a monetary prize. It doesn't come with anything at all, really. But, my favorite audio publisher of the year is Tantor Audio. Yes, their prices are good. Their prices are VERY good, actually, and they are more than willing to work with libraries to both of our mutual benefit. But good prices are only good if there is something you want to buy, right? Tantor combines good price with good titles.
They've only been around for 10 years and maybe that is the key to their thinking outside of the box success. I know, I know. You're going to ask me exactly HOW are they thinking out of the box when they are publishing some of the hottest books and hottest series currently in the market. The thing is, they are producing audio for many books that other vendors have turned their back on. Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice, for example, was first published in 1995. It may be a little too soon to be calling it a fantasy "classic" but it is certainly a book that never seems to dip in popularity. Yet, it took 15 years (and Tantor Audio) to bring it to audio. Luckily, they are turning their eye to other projects sooner. They have brought many Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance titles and series to audio when other publishers have mainly ignored them, or jumped in only on the bigger authors. (Recorded Books has published J.R. Ward at an OUTRAGEOUS library edition price. Penguin picked up The Dresden Files series) But my patrons are also asking for Lara Adrian and Rachel Caine and Kelley Armstrong. They love Yasmine Galenorn, Carrie Vaughn and Nalini Singh. Authors that have been largely invisible except in "certain circles" and not taken seriously as audio contenders. Now they're available and not only are they available, but they are done very well. The narrators are incredible, the production is fantastic and the cover art is good too. Packaging is great. THANK YOU, Tantor! Now more people can listen to books they love.