Today's award goes to Tor, publishers of science fiction, for putting their publicity and marketing foot firmly into their corporate mouth.
In March one of Tor's authors, John Scalzi, will launch his new book. Here's the cover image originally put out by Tor for his novel.
Note the top line of text on that cover image: "The New York Times bestselling series". Note, too, that this cover was first revealed by Tor in a blog post dated June 27th, 2016 - more than seven months ago at the time of writing.
Can Tor explain, perhaps, how a book can be launched as part of a "bestselling series" when:
- It's the first book in the series?
- Its bestselling series status was announced more than nine months before its publication date?
And what does this say about how a book - or a series of books - achieves such an exalted status prior to publication? Does it, perhaps, imply that a place on such lists of "bestselling series" might be bought and paid for in advance, as an advertisement or publicity stunt, rather than earned on the basis of sales success? Would the New York Times care to comment?
I note, too, that since that cover was announced, and questions began to be asked, Tor is now showing a different cover on the book's Amazon.com page.
You'll notice that the last line of text invokes the New York Times in a rather different way. Was the new cover selected simply because it was better . . . or is the changed reference to the NYT an exercise in "duck and cover"?
As Alice might have said, "Curiouser and curiouser . . ."