*I preface this post by admitting I’m being a snob for no reason other than I can.*
As a book lover and avid reader I feel slightly ashamed to say sometimes I don’t read or hear about a book until the movie comes out. This isn’t a dig on movies as a lesser medium by any means. I’m pretty proud of my ability to judge movies based on books on their merit as a film alone. Occasionally I’ll bitch about how much could’ve been included to make the movie more authentic to the heart of the original story ::cough::Twilight::cough::, but my final verdict of good or bad is always based upon the movie alone.
While a movie based on a book usually creates a greater awareness or even curiosity for a book, it is never the driving force behind my desire to read the original story. Honestly I’ll give anything a go, especially if the cover looks promising. Which is why a recent trip to my local Barnes and Nobel had me wondering if I accidentally wandered into my local Blockbuster instead of the closest book store. Since when did books become a marketing tool for all other media?
Does stamping “NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE” really garner that much in sales to make the reprint worth it? Why the hell is Hayden Penihoweverthefyouspellit on the cover of Larry Doyle’s book? She had nothing to do with it! And for that matter the movie sucked, you would think the publisher would want to distance themselves a little bit and let the cover of the book reflect how original it is and that it is so not a Mean Girls“rip off? Why in the world is HBO’s tagline in larger font than “New York Times Best Selling Author” on Dead Until Dark? And no, I do not want a poster of Edward and Bella thank you very much, that will come in my next issue of Teen Bop, I just want to read the second book in the Twilight series. P.S. It’s not exclusive now that we have a little thing called “the internet”. Mine comes equipped with google image search, how about yours?
I realize my little bitch fit does no more than ask a bunch of rhetorical questions and rip on Hayden (which for the record I usually like, but that movie blew), but I am more than frustrated with the turn our book covers are taking – and that sucks. I think it’s great that movies, tv shows, and Oprah are reaching a larger audience and introducing them to the wonderful world of literature, but couldn’t you just slap a sign on an end cap and not taint the author’s work with something they are lucky to be a consultant on? I understand that the author usually has nothing to do with the cover art selected for their books, but can’t the two mediums stand alone? It’s gotta be a slap in the face to the author for the publisher to pretty much declare they can’t sell your book unless a celebrity is on the cover.
As a collector of books I’m also frustrated. I don’t read anything once so I almost always buy a book if I intend on reading it. I love to go back every now and then and experience the worlds authors have introduced me too. With the release of the movie tomorrow I’m reminded constantly that I’ve been meaning to read The Time Travelers Wife long before it was pitched as a movie. I’m dismayed that the only copy I can now find new at local book stores is stamped with a giant major motion picture bubble on the front cover. It’s also disapointing that all of my Sookie Stackhouse novels have a big red circle promoting True Blood even though the cover is the original printing.
Is it my fault for jumping in too late to the game for some of these stories, or should publishers and movie studios stick to their ends of the court and stop trying to cross promote?