RT Magazine. Well, sort of.
First, there's the giant advertisement in the magazine by Avon promoting its k.i.s.s. and teal awareness campaign for ovarian cancer (September, page 7). That's a good thing, right? Right. But amongst the many participating new release titles, I spotted something odd. Avon had chosen The Deed by Lynsay Sands as a title to include in the program. My problem with that? It's not a new release. It's a reissue of a Sands backlist title that Avon purchased from Dorchester when they (Dorchester) first started having financial problems.
A little sleuthing around online revealed a bit more. While Amazon marks this book as a reissue in the product details, nothing on the front cover gives any clue that it's not a new book. And Barnes and Noble has no mention whatsoever of its "classic" status.
Avon has this on part of their site: The deliciously witty first novel from Lynsay Sands. For me, that isn't enough. I want it to clearly state that it is a reissue. Because that could easily be read as 'debut' rather than a reissue. And I think it's in poor taste to essentially hide that fact by sticking this book in a campaign featuring NEW RELEASES whose sales count towards additional charity donations from Avon.
Okay, moving on...
Flipping to the back of the RT magazine, I see the announcement that they've done away with the Mr. Romance competition. Not news to me, having heard the announcement on Twitter weeks ago. What IS news is their idea of a replacement event. Basically, after the Giant Book Fair (open to the public as well as registered conventioneers) they are hosting a "meet and greet" type of event where readers can mingle with authors, and publishers can give away stuff if they want. This event is ALSO open to the public. At least those who paid (usually $5) to attend the signing or those registered with the convention.
My issue with this? RT charges a heck of a lot of money for the convention. The parties and events are a big reason for attending. So why in the world are they opening this event up to people who didn't fork over nearly $500?
My second issue is that the event is completely uneventful. It's lazy, unimaginative, and a really dumb idea. Mr. Romance was a sit-down event. After a huge signing, everyone is tired. The very last thing they're going to want to do is visit with authors they've already visited with while getting their books signed. And authors aren't going to be shown to their best advantage, as they'll likely be bone-tired, potentially cranky, and just not in the mood to be enthusiastic for even more milling hordes of readers.
This, RT, is not a replacement event. It's a cop-out. You might as well have just left that block of time free of any events.
(There's a 3rd irritant, but this is a lingering one from the 2011 convention. The "Teen Day" promises to be bigger and better in 2012. Oh. Joy. As if YA hadn't already taken over the majority of the convention, they're making it bigger and better. /sarcasm.)
What do you think? Does it irk you when publishers aren't upfront about reissues? What do you think of Avon using a backlist title in a charity fundraising campaign? And what do you think about RT's idea to replace Mr. Romance with the Meet the Authors free-for-all?