"From the people who brought you…"

While bookshopping recently in Italy, I was struck once again by the idiocy of their system of arranging books by publisher, rather than just by author or even genre. How often have you gone to buy a book and known in advance who the publisher is? Or if you’re just browsing, wouldn’t you like to browse everything (the whole point of browsing, it seems to me) rather than just the titles from one particular publishing house? Shops in France and Belgium have been known to do this too, and there was even one famous shop in Charing Cross Road in London which only recently abandoned this approach.
Imagine extending this system to other media: when choosing a DVD, would you like to have to specify the studio which produced it first? Back in the 1930s studios did specialise in particular genres (Universal for horror, MGM for musicals, Warner Bros for gansters, etc.) but with the possible exception of Disney, that’s no longer the case. Who turns up at the cinema and says to themselves “Ooh, I see there’s a new film from Paramount – that’s bound to be good!”? Having said that, many (straight-to-) DVDs try this tactic in order to associate some worthless effort with a more successful, previous film. “From the director/writer of…” is one thing, but “From the Associate Producer of…” or “From the studio that brought you…” have all been seen recently. 
Do people really fall for this? Would you buy a book with the tagline “From the publishers of “The Da Vinci Code”?


One thought on “"From the people who brought you…"

  1. simonlitton October 16, 2007 / 2:28 pm

    Comments from:

    Posted on Sep. 19th, 2007 10:44 am (local)
    “Coming soon, a new Live Journal blog…”
    Nah, I don’t like their blogs that much. 😛


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