Sensitivity, publishing house-style

Maybe I've mentioned this before, but I really appreciate the method that Japanese publishers use to festoon their books with promotional hype. They don't print it on the cover: they put it on the obi (or, more formally, obigami (帯紙), "sash paper"), which you can then remove as soon as you get home (and use as a bookmark). This means that cover designers can work in peace without having to sandwich in "Winner of the Bunglefloot Flap award" or "'Magnificent!' -- Similar Author, Similar Book" or, worst of all, those goddamned embossed gold medallion things.

It also means that publishers have the ability to launch a new promotion or promotional phase every so often, simply by slapping a sub-branded obi ("Summer Reading 2005!") on a bunch of already-existing titles, and persuading bookstores to make a visually arresting display out of it. Sometimes, though, the books they choose don't really go with the promotional branding:

"Hey! I'm a goofy guy having summer fun, reading underwater! ... about, uh, self-mutilation among young girls. Yeah... non-fiction. So, anyone wanna play frisbee?"

Popularity factor: 1



I do like the method though. Promos in North America tend to be printed right in the books, tucked in the leftover pages at the back of the book, but it always ends up dated.

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