Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hardcover Vs. Paperback - And A CONTEST

My first published novel came out in hardcover, from St. Martin’s Press. It had an unusual but perfect cover and, because it took dead aim at a particular set of people who are enthusiastic readers -- members of the Society for Creative Anachronism -- it did well. It had a peculiar title: Murder at the War. The paperback version, from Walker, had a better title, Knight Fall. It did well, too.

I was surprised when MATW came out in hardcover, because what I thought I was writing was a book you buy at the airport or at a bus depot, read on your trip, and leave behind on the seat when you arrive. I meant it to be light but highly-entertaining, full of interesting characters, with a clever plot, and having a satisfying ending, but nothing deeply literary -- just the sort of thing to make the enforced inactivity of travel bearable. But I didn’t think it was the sort of book you buy to treasure and re-read over and over.

It was an honor as well as a pleasure to discover I was wrong, that people liked the books in the Peter Brichter series enough to buy them in hardcover.

There is a certain amount of prestige to having a book come out in hardcover; my current Betsy Devonshire series began as paperback originals, but has now graduated to hardcovers followed, about a year later, by paperback versions. Both versions, unlike my first series, come out from the same publisher, Berkley/Prime Crime.

Speaking of romance, which we seem to be doing this week, Murder at the War featured a happily married couple; the prequel, The Unforgiving Minutes, told the strange and exciting way they met and fell in love. (Sort of like the lines from a song in the musical “Fiorello!” “You remember her, she detested you; you remember him, he arrested you.”) The Dame Frevisse series featured a medieval nun who was above such nonsense as falling in love. My current series has Betsy being pretty much of a dud at finding and holding onto a good man -- though she is currently doing a lot better with Connor Sullivan, who is introduced in my novel Blackwork, and will be prominent in the forthcoming Buttons and Bones.

A CONTEST: You can win a copy of the just-released paperback version of the thirteenth Betsy Devonshire mystery, Blackwork! Suitably autographed, of course. Just answer this question Yes or No by five p.m. Friday, October 9: Are the terms “Counted Cross Stitch” and “Needlepoint” describing the same kind of needlework? In case of multiple correct answers (and I anticipate lots of them, this is an easier question than in my last contest), I will draw the winner at random.

22 comments:

Elaine said...

no, you silly goose!

Elaine said...

No.

sosarahsew said...

No, they are not the same. Needlepoint typically makes a fabric on a canvas base and therefore stitching needs to cover the entire surface. Cross-stitch is a design placed on top of a fabric that can be very small. But both could use the same chart for a design and both are beautiful and fun!

Julie said...

Of course not! Counted cross stitch is worked on evenweave (usually) fabric including linen, aida, lugana, etc., etc. The stitches embellish the ground fabric, but (usually) do not cover it entirely. Needlepoint is worked on a canvas woven of heavier threads which are arranged with holes between them, and the stitches (usually) cover the canvas entirely. (Trying to define them, I kept mentally coming up with exceptions to the rules.) The answer is still no, they're not the same.

Bookwoman said...

It's been 30 years or more since I did any needle work other than crochet, but based on my childhood memories I would say they are not. I mean with counted cross stitch you can see the little x's but not I don't think with needlepoint you necessarily see the individual stitches.

BeadKnitter said...

Ooooo, a contest. Sweet! Thank you Monica.

The answer is No. (Former needle craft shop owner here.)

Interesting post today. I never really thought about paperback vs hardcover before. I think if I'd written a light hearted book, I'd have been surprised by the hard cover too.

Christine Thresh said...

No, they are not the same. I learned this by reading your Betsy books. I am not a "needleworker," I am a quilter.

Jeannette Hayashida said...

Nope!

scrapbookangel said...

No they refer to very different forms of needle art.

Lynn said...

Nope. Nada. No Way.

Susan said...

Absolutely not!

Jane Jeffress Thomas said...

No. They are two different techniques.

janimar said...

No, they are not the same. I have done lots of cross-stitch but my mother used to do needlepoint and entered it and won at the state fair.

shirley said...

Not the same thing, although I don't do either one.

Leah said...

No they are not the same

Monica Ferris said...

Wow, lots of answers -- and so far, all of them correct! (Am I giving too much away?)

LizzieK8 said...

No, and there is no quicker way to raise the hackles on an aficionado of either disciple than to mix them up.

signlady217 said...

No, they are not the same kind of needlework (but you already knew that!) :)

Debbie said...

No they are not the same, although you might remember in the late 1990s Quilted Northern TP had ads with quilters using knitting needles on a quilt, so ya never know what you might see if you venture outside the needlework world :)

Judy Harper said...

I would love to have this book, but haven't a clue, I'll just sit here and look at my lovely bookmark that I won. You did a beautiful job of "stitching"!

Gina said...

Nope, not the same at all! Although both tend to fall under the generic "Needlework," they each employ a different style of stitching to provide the end design.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Of course not. They are quite different, but both enjoyable :)