Two recent stories in Publishing Perspectives caught my eye: first, that the number of self and micro published titles has risen to the staggering figure of 764,448 in the last year; the next was a story about whether consumers feel a sense of allegiance (or actually notice) the name of a book’s publisher or imprint.
Taken together, the stories seem to capture two countervailing impulses in publishing. For many writers, the decision to publish without backing from a major house–whether by choice or necessity–expresses a fundamental confidence that it is the author, not imprint, who is the “brand.” The latter article (which is more impassioned argument for than clear demonstration of) points to imprints that have built for themselves a recognizable brand identity. The articles cites Knopf, Vintage, and Penguin Classics as imprints that readers may deliberately seek out, or at the very least, spot and have a baseline assurance of quality.
So, I’m curious to know: How often, or have you ever, bought a self-published book? Have you self-published a book yourself? To what degree to you pay attention to a book’s imprint? Are there imprints that you swear by?