Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
Jeanie0522
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎12-24-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

I would agree that the moth science does add a certain unique quality to the novel; however, I am not sure that it will have as wide of public appeal that it would have without so much of that included.  Since it is clear that the final editing of the book has been done, this may not be the time to mention that I did find a couple of typo's in the ARC. 
 
I have finished the book, but will not communicate any spoilers.  I truly think that the only thing that may hold this book back is the "moth talk."  It is important to make a book unique, but I think at some point the balance of moths outweighed the story line.  Here is where it would seem that editing is important.  Of course this is only my opinion and I did enjoy the story.  I wish Poppy Adams much success.  I will certainly recommend the book, but I will also indicate that moth science is very much part of the book. 
New User
lodigates
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

Thank you for speaking these thoughts and questions to the author.  Too much technical nearly made me put the book down, better yet, send it to the used book store.  The only reasons I kept reading was the book was given, the author is new, and just plain curiousity.  Where was this story going?
 
This is my first "First Look", and I was distrurbed by the type-o's, and misspelled words.  Having been a Secretary all my life, I tend to watch that and punctuation.  Will this book go back for corrections, i.e. Maud/Maude.
 
Lodigates
Frequent Contributor
pigwidgeon
Posts: 293
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor


Jeanie0522 wrote: Since it is clear that the final editing of the book has been done, this may not be the time to mention that I did find a couple of typo's in the ARC.


lodigates wrote: This is my first "First Look", and I was distrurbed by the type-o's, and misspelled words. Having been a Secretary all my life, I tend to watch that and punctuation. Will this book go back for corrections, i.e. Maud/Maude.

Hi Jeanie0522 and lodigates!

As you can see, from Carole's previous message (quoted below), that the book's content is final, but it still needs to go through the proofreading spit and polish. Just thought I'd re-post her answer so she doesn't have to. I just go through on my own as I read and correct the typos, grammar, etc., it makes me feel better. :smileyhappy:

Carole_Baron wrote:As you probably know the galleys that you are sent is the final book without the proofreading, so there will be no editorial changes from this to the final book. Thank you for reading. (emphasis added)
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor


pigwidgeon wrote:

Jeanie0522 wrote: Since it is clear that the final editing of the book has been done, this may not be the time to mention that I did find a couple of typo's in the ARC.


lodigates wrote: This is my first "First Look", and I was distrurbed by the type-o's, and misspelled words. Having been a Secretary all my life, I tend to watch that and punctuation. Will this book go back for corrections, i.e. Maud/Maude.

Hi Jeanie0522 and lodigates!

As you can see, from Carole's previous message (quoted below), that the book's content is final, but it still needs to go through the proofreading spit and polish. Just thought I'd re-post her answer so she doesn't have to. I just go through on my own as I read and correct the typos, grammar, etc., it makes me feel better. :smileyhappy:

Carole_Baron wrote:As you probably know the galleys that you are sent is the final book without the proofreading, so there will be no editorial changes from this to the final book. Thank you for reading. (emphasis added)



Ok, so the content is fixed and our input doesn't really count for anything there then. Interesting. What about the cover and our questions about the clipart-ish butterflies on the cover? Is that all set too? If so, guess with content set and cover set, not sure what you would like to know from any of us, if anything.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
Jeanie0522
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎12-24-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

I would have to echo Vivian here.  I really would enjoy participating, but if everything is already set in stone, what kind of input would be helpful for you?  -Jeanie
Frequent Contributor
bookhunter
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎06-09-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

Ms. Baron,
 
Thanks for the opportunity to read this book.  I very much enjoyed it--especially the unique voice of Ginny as narrator.
 
I am another one of the readers who really likes the chapters with titles and a table of contents.  Not only does it aid when  having a discussion, but the chapter titles really add to the story.
 
My question:  Why did you change the title for publication in the US? 
 
The chapter titles are so quirky and revealing.   The Sister is so nondescript, as well as confusing since Danielle Steele has a novel called Sisters published recently.  I have seen the book refered to online as The Behaviour of Moths and as The Time of Emergence.  Both of those are more intriguing titles to me!
 
Thanks again for the opportunity,
Ann, bookhunter
Frequent Contributor
renhair
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎01-31-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

I agree with bookhunter, the title is nondescript.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story.  I found it interesting and I didn't really even mind the moth talk....found it useful as the story progressed.  That said, I wouldn't have picked the book up off the shelf based on either the title or the cover.....
 
Any thoughts to changing either?

bookhunter wrote:
 
 
The chapter titles are so quirky and revealing.   The Sister is so nondescript, as well as confusing since Danielle Steele has a novel called Sisters published recently.  I have seen the book refered to online as The Behaviour of Moths and as The Time of Emergence.  Both of those are more intriguing titles to me!
 
Thanks again for the opportunity,
Ann, bookhunter



Inspired Correspondent
Maria_H
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor


vivico1 wrote:
Ok, so the content is fixed and our input doesn't really count for anything there then. Interesting. What about the cover and our questions about the clipart-ish butterflies on the cover? Is that all set too? If so, guess with content set and cover set, not sure what you would like to know from any of us, if anything.


Good question.

I can't say it's possible to expect the cover to change or that chapters will be excised from the book.

However, Carole Baron is a renowned and experienced editor with an amazing track record. I think this is a great opportunity to talk to the Carole about what attracted her to this project, what made this such a stand out among the many submissions she receives daily, how the final book differed from the initial submission, what it's like to work with a first time author, what it's like to work with an author whose first medium was film (and one that is visual) -- did it make a difference, what it was like to work along side with Poppy's UK editor (that edition will be published one month before the American edition), what is the meaning of the bust on the cover, how much did she learn about moths in the process of editing this book, how will Knopf position this book, how has the response been within Knopf, among the many other things you guys have already come up with.


Looking for a discussion? Find a Book Club for all your interests!


Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor


renhair wrote:
I agree with bookhunter, the title is nondescript. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I found it interesting and I didn't really even mind the moth talk....found it useful as the story progressed. That said, I wouldn't have picked the book up off the shelf based on either the title or the cover.....
Any thoughts to changing either?

bookhunter wrote:
The chapter titles are so quirky and revealing. The Sister is so nondescript, as well as confusing since Danielle Steele has a novel called Sisters published recently. I have seen the book refered to online as The Behaviour of Moths and as The Time of Emergence. Both of those are more intriguing titles to me!
Thanks again for the opportunity,
Ann, bookhunter






***********spoiler warning*********
I liked the title and by the end of the book, when you read the line about "the sister", I thought you were "the sister", then some things pop in the title. Like, which one did you think it refered to up to till then since Ginny was writing about HER sister. And as a "who done it" kind of book, you come to know, it was Ginny, "the sister".

Altho the title The Behaviour of Moths actually fits the behavior of this sister, considering there was more information about moths in here than I EVER wanted to know, to have that title too, I probably would have put it down once it kept going on about the scientific aspects for sure, thinking it is really about the science of moth study and just some quirky person who does it.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor


Maria_H wrote:

vivico1 wrote:
Ok, so the content is fixed and our input doesn't really count for anything there then. Interesting. What about the cover and our questions about the clipart-ish butterflies on the cover? Is that all set too? If so, guess with content set and cover set, not sure what you would like to know from any of us, if anything.


Good question.

I can't say it's possible to expect the cover to change or that chapters will be excised from the book.

However, Carole Baron is a renowned and experienced editor with an amazing track record. I think this is a great opportunity to talk to the Carole about what attracted her to this project, what made this such a stand out among the many submissions she receives daily, how the final book differed from the initial submission, what it's like to work with a first time author, what it's like to work with an author whose first medium was film (and one that is visual) -- did it make a difference, what it was like to work along side with Poppy's UK editor (that edition will be published one month before the American edition), what is the meaning of the bust on the cover, how much did she learn about moths in the process of editing this book, how will Knopf position this book, how has the response been within Knopf, among the many other things you guys have already come up with.


A little gentle leading Maria? :smileywink: But hey, if the contents are settled and now we asked and know, its still a valid question about the cover and the butterflies/moths, I guess because the last editors did want to know what we thought at this point and did show us some examples and tell us some changes they were going to make to it. So I guess we just wanted to know if the cover is set here or if they are considering those things too.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
pheath
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎02-01-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor



Everyman wrote:
Tasses wrote: Given the possibility that any exposure is better than no exposure, would publishers rather recieve honest reviews or have us just skip reviewing titles we find faulty? I've wrestled with this quite a bit (good ole guilt there)

Excellent question. I've wrestled with it myself. With a book I've bought and paid for, I have no problem giving it a negative review if that's how I feel about it. But the ARCs feel a bit different; they are gifts, and you know what they say about gift horses! Since I can't give this book a glowing review, at least as far as I've read so far, I'm wondering whether I should just not review it at the end. But then, is that fair to other readers who might get to save their tie and money if they had a better picture what the book is about?




I have had this discussion in another program of which I am a member. Personally, I think it is beneficial for a book (or product for that matter) to have honest, thoughtful reviews that reflect the reader's true impression. I also think that the person reading the review needs a clue to see if they have common ground with the reviewer. You can accomplish this either by making comparisons to other books that you liked or disliked. However for something like this, I plan to just outline the criteria that I will use to judge the novel: plot, character development, and themes. It can be difficult to focus a review based on analysis of the book without giving away the plot. However, I think that this is what we sign up to do when requesting an ARC. My $0.02.
-Philip
Frequent Contributor
pheath
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎02-01-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor



vivico1 wrote:
Ok, so the content is fixed and our input doesn't really count for anything there then. Interesting. What about the cover and our questions about the clipart-ish butterflies on the cover? Is that all set too? If so, guess with content set and cover set, not sure what you would like to know from any of us, if anything.




Has it been your experience in the past that the group has had input on the final content? I'm curious because this is the first "First Look" book that I have read for BN. I would think though that with the book scheduled to hit the shelf in three months that there isn't much time for significant alteration. Only in a rare case could I see a book get canned based on extremely, almost unanimous negative reaction. I certainly don't think this novel falls in that category.

I think that it is an interesting area to explore. Is the timing of this novel typical for ARCs? Are the goals of the publisher always the same? Given that there are multiple avenues to use for the purpose of generating customer reviews, how did they select BN? I know that these are rather general business type questions, but it's in my nature to ask.

Oh, and last but certainly not least, thanks for making this title available. I found it more enjoyable that I expected, and the discussions have been good too.
-Philip
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor



Maria_H wrote:

vivico1 wrote:
Ok, so the content is fixed and our input doesn't really count for anything there then. Interesting. What about the cover and our questions about the clipart-ish butterflies on the cover? Is that all set too? If so, guess with content set and cover set, not sure what you would like to know from any of us, if anything.


Good question.

I can't say it's possible to expect the cover to change or that chapters will be excised from the book.

However, Carole Baron is a renowned and experienced editor with an amazing track record. I think this is a great opportunity to talk to the Carole about what attracted her to this project, what made this such a stand out among the many submissions she receives daily, how the final book differed from the initial submission, what it's like to work with a first time author, what it's like to work with an author whose first medium was film (and one that is visual) -- did it make a difference, what it was like to work along side with Poppy's UK editor (that edition will be published one month before the American edition), what is the meaning of the bust on the cover, how much did she learn about moths in the process of editing this book, how will Knopf position this book, how has the response been within Knopf, among the many other things you guys have already come up with.

Absolutely! Let's take advantage of this opportunity to ask our esteemed guest some questions about the book!
 
Carole, many of us have been commenting upon the Ginny's confidential tone as she addresses the reader. It gives the narrative quite a sinister quality that I think really draws us in. Is this something that caught your attention, too, when you first read the manuscript? 
 
Thanks so much for your time!
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

Carole, what kinds of things typically set a really exciting manuscript apart from all the others that hit your desk? In particular, what qualities do you look for in a debut work of fiction?
 
Karen
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

I have always understood that the ARCs are the final copy except for editing for misspellings, etc.

So what's our task here, other than to enjoy ourselves reading the book? I see at least three functions we perform.

First, we will be invited to review the book for reviews to be published on the BN website. Having a selection of reviews on line by the time the book is available for sale will, I think BN hopes, help their readers make up their minds that this is a good book to buy and try.

Second, knowing what questions a set of experienced and involved readers had about the book may help the publisher and author put out better reading guides or supplementary website materials.

Third, I'm sure there is some hope that if we like the book we will spread the word among our friends and fellow readers. They do say that word of mouth is the best advertising: if everyone here who likes the book talks about it to a few friends, and they talk to a few friends, that may enhance early sales, which may get the book more noticed more quickly.

It's a win-win symbiotic relationship. We get the chance to experience a book nobody else has had the chance to read and to discuss it in a special restricted setting with other intelligent and informed readers, and the publishers and authors get an advance readership who they hope will give the book an early boost toward success.

That, anyhow, FWIW, is how I've seen it over the three First Look groups I've been in.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor


pheath wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
Ok, so the content is fixed and our input doesn't really count for anything there then. Interesting. What about the cover and our questions about the clipart-ish butterflies on the cover? Is that all set too? If so, guess with content set and cover set, not sure what you would like to know from any of us, if anything.




Has it been your experience in the past that the group has had input on the final content? I'm curious because this is the first "First Look" book that I have read for BN. I would think though that with the book scheduled to hit the shelf in three months that there isn't much time for significant alteration. Only in a rare case could I see a book get canned based on extremely, almost unanimous negative reaction. I certainly don't think this novel falls in that category.

I think that it is an interesting area to explore. Is the timing of this novel typical for ARCs? Are the goals of the publisher always the same? Given that there are multiple avenues to use for the purpose of generating customer reviews, how did they select BN? I know that these are rather general business type questions, but it's in my nature to ask.

Oh, and last but certainly not least, thanks for making this title available. I found it more enjoyable that I expected, and the discussions have been good too.


This is the third ARC and as for content, no, but I would think the editors would want to know before the final print, if something is turning off, say a lot of the American audience, as opposed to the British one. In asking them, I am not suggesting, to change the story or cut the stuff about moths at all, surely not. But I just would like to say to the editors, while they are here and I , as a reader, have a chance, (several of us have already and this is unusual for the ARCs so it must mean something) that maybe a few lines or paragraphs of the technical scientific jargon could be cut out, not change the rest, just cut it some because there is where the book is losing readers. And if we are only here to read and then get the "buzz" going about the book, its not going to be great if what turns out to be a really good book, and it is, gets bad reviews because of too much of that one thing. Now as for stuff about labeling the tops of the chapters with the chapter names instead of the book name, as has been suggested here, YES, in the last ARC they told us, in the final print they would do that, that they understood how that could be more helpful to the reader. And as for the cover, which we have yet to hear about in this one yet, YES, in the last ARC, they even showed us several designs and asked our opinions on them before it went to final print. I think those two things were great and it did open us up to more honest talk about the book rather than us just trying to say what is expected. It was fun, informative, interactive and then we gave our best advice of what we really thought would help sell it.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Inspired Correspondent
Maria_H
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor


pheath wrote:
Has it been your experience in the past that the group has had input on the final content? I'm curious because this is the first "First Look" book that I have read for BN. I would think though that with the book scheduled to hit the shelf in three months that there isn't much time for significant alteration. Only in a rare case could I see a book get canned based on extremely, almost unanimous negative reaction. I certainly don't think this novel falls in that category.

I think that it is an interesting area to explore. Is the timing of this novel typical for ARCs? Are the goals of the publisher always the same? Given that there are multiple avenues to use for the purpose of generating customer reviews, how did they select BN? I know that these are rather general business type questions, but it's in my nature to ask.

Oh, and last but certainly not least, thanks for making this title available. I found it more enjoyable that I expected, and the discussions have been good too.




Hi Philip,

I'm glad you have been enjoying the book and our discussions.

To answer your question, in our last installment of First Look, the publisher of The House at Riverton presented to the readers a chance to help select the color of the cover's typeface. In addition, the publisher decided to change the running heads at the top of the page (after some readers voiced an unsolicited preference). These changes were offered by the publisher of the book entirely at their discretion. We were very lucky and privileged to have been a part of that process.

Of course, it is not possible to expect this same kind of input for every book we select for First Look.

I will quote Everyman, who conveys, very succinctly, the spirit and purpose of First Look:



Everyman wrote:
I have always understood that the ARCs are the final copy except for editing for misspellings, etc.

So what's our task here, other than to enjoy ourselves reading the book? I see at least three functions we perform.

First, we will be invited to review the book for reviews to be published on the BN website. Having a selection of reviews on line by the time the book is available for sale will, I think BN hopes, help their readers make up their minds that this is a good book to buy and try.

Second, knowing what questions a set of experienced and involved readers had about the book may help the publisher and author put out better reading guides or supplementary website materials.

Third, I'm sure there is some hope that if we like the book we will spread the word among our friends and fellow readers. They do say that word of mouth is the best advertising: if everyone here who likes the book talks about it to a few friends, and they talk to a few friends, that may enhance early sales, which may get the book more noticed more quickly.

It's a win-win symbiotic relationship. We get the chance to experience a book nobody else has had the chance to read and to discuss it in a special restricted setting with other intelligent and informed readers, and the publishers and authors get an advance readership who they hope will give the book an early boost toward success.

That, anyhow, FWIW, is how I've seen it over the three First Look groups I've been in.



Looking for a discussion? Find a Book Club for all your interests!


Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

Ms. Baron -- first, thank you for joining this discussion.

Second, there has been a lot of discussion about the technical information on moths provided in the book. Let me say, for me the question has not been the amount, but how can I distinguish between what is "real" and what is fiction for the sake of the story. In fact, my acceptance of the book is still partially hinging on whether I can "trust" the author's "science" (not the character's -- it's okay with me if such is entirely fictional so long as I at least kind of can recognize that).

I have never looked closely at how authors develop credence (or fail to do so) around the "science" they incorporate into their stories. As an editor, can you comment?

(This problem can probably be extended to other kinds of "facts" as well -- we usually want someone writing about music or the fashion industry or a war to be reasonably credible about the subject matter and even be willing to be called to task where they are not.)
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

Thank you so much for joining us, Carol. With so many writers out there, how do you determine what works deserve more of your time? What criteria do you use? Also, what do you like most about your job?
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
Frequent Contributor
nmccarthy
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎12-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for the Editor

I remember opening my front door one evening to change out the dead light bulb. As I climbed the ladder, I had an odd feeling; something was different, though everything looked normal. After screwing in the light bulb and closely looking around, I finally saw it. They were subtle, very subtle. Moths were almost perfectly blended into the color and texture of the siding and brick on the front porch.
 
That's how I've felt since page one of this book though fortunately the mystery and answers to my questions are still unfolding as of Chapter 17. I have been racking my brain, using every bit of moth science, philosophy tidbits and personality and relationship analysis to discover the subtle meanings behind Ginny's narrative and character. If I had not been part of this reading group, I would have probably finished the book in one very full day, stopping here and there to evaluate the meaning behind a passage. 
 
This book is smart, it makes me pause and think, it draws me in, it intertwines the science of moths with the familial relationships. I rarely read the bestsellers, the authors that publish a book a minute, the books I forget about the next day.
 
So here's my question. What are you charged with looking for when you read a manuscript? Are you looking for the next bestseller or a book that's a possible prize contender? And finally, how does your publishing company intend to market Poppy Adam's first novel?
 
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be part of the unfolding of this new author and book release.
Nancy
Users Online
Currently online: 3 members 556 guests
Recent signins:
Please welcome our newest community members: