Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Looks & books (continuing from Meghan & Alvina)
The editor's age doesn't matter to me -- though I do NOTICE it. I remember being absolutely amazed when I read Alvina's comments on my ms. -- and wondering how someone so young could be so wise.
I don't think the author's age and appearance matter either (except maybe in YA??) and that's why it irritates me so much that the marketing dept. – and people determining the size of advances – think they do! Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I think the author’s attractiveness matters to them a lot, and The Guardian
(thanks, Pooja, for pointing out this article) agrees.
When do looks matter? On a book’s cover – not the author’s picture, but the front cover. Fuse8 has had a few articles recently about good books with bad covers, and librarians confirmed the cover’s importance. One said “We didn’t buy this, because of the cover.”
I also think how you look matters to kids when you go on school visits – but children and adults have pretty different ideas of what's attractive. VERY few adults, okay, none --would call me well-dressed; but sometimes children I don’t know come up to me on the street and compliment me on my clothes or accessories. When I do school visits, the kids usually say things like,
"I like your outfit"
or, sounding impressed,
“Are those TATOOS?” (they weren’t)
"Cool jacket" -- the same jacket of which a boyfriend had said: "If you're wearing that, I'm not going." Sort of like the scene in ABOUT A BOY when the kid is thinking, "At least Mom looked really cool" and Hugh Grant is thinking "She was wearing some kind of weird yetti outfit ...." The word yetti may not be what he said, just what it sounded like to me; I have no idea what it means, but it was no compliment.
One more reason to be glad Blow Out the Moon is positioned as a kid’s book, even though it’s really just as much for grown-ups.
--Libby (and the pattern is from a scan of a kid-approved sock)