[Photo via The American Library Association’s photostream]
The annual American Library Association wrapped up its annual meeting yesterday and, as the above photo suggests, there was abundant graphic novel programming and presence. Our own Torsten Adair was there, and he blogged of many things, like the Dabel Brothers’ new imprint, Sea Lion Books:
Oh, and some BIG news. The Dabel Brothers have a new business, titled Sea Lion Books. Three initial authors: L. A. Banks, Richelle Mead, and…
(let me but it up in lights so you won’t miss it…)
Yeah, my jaw dropped. That’s a BIG name, an author who writes regular literary fiction, not some author known for genre work. Then they showed the book cover:
Yes. THAT book. A book which has been been in print since 1987, and still sells tremendously (currently #316 among all books on BN.com). A book translated into 67 languages, and which has sold over 41 million copies worldwide.
What else… Supposedly OverDrive, one of the leading companies providing digital books to libraries and retailers, has signed an agreement with Marvel and Tokyopop. (I heard this secondhand, that OverDrive announced this at their luncheon today.) Now, I’ve seen that they’ve offered ebook versions of some of Marvel’s and Tpop’s titles since April 2010. Searching the web, I see certain issues available via public libraries. OverDrive requires an account to see the entire selection of titles, so I can’t see much beyond the link above. It seems that the content is available, but only for lending, not for direct sale. Perhaps today’s announcement will change that. Or maybe this is just a re-iteration of what they are already doing. I see single issues from Marvel, not graphic novels, although Marvel could easily bundle them together. I wonder how much they charge the libraries?
The Official Blog of the Public Library Association reported on a presentation covering the Brooklyn Library’s success with graphic novels:
The “cost/circ ratio” is simply the cost of a book divided by the numbers of times it has circulated. In the Central Library’s young adult collection, graphics had better value for their dollar investment than even high-interest titles such as the Twilight and Harry Potter series.
However, this formula is not meant to be used as a weeding tool. “Instead of weeding, do some seeding,” Zabriskie suggests. The high circulation numbers of graphic novels can allow libraries to keep less popular materials without sacrificing circulation statistics. The classics, for example, may never be circulation blockbusters, but they should be available when patrons need them: they are “part of our identification as libraries,” notes Zabriskie.
Colleen Doran was there:
Had tea today with Barry Lyga, and went over many details on the new book. I am delighted with his reaction to my prelims. The prelims for the book are complete, though there’s a handful I will redo for my own good. This book is not only going to be very entertaining for the reader, it is very entertaining for me. It’s such a great pleasure to work on. Not to devalue any other projects I am doing, but this one is not so research intensive as my last couple of projects. And I am not inventing a new style or drawing technique as I often do.
Tina Coleman has more on the GN festivities:
Friday night featured a Drink & Draw reception that pitted graphic novel luminaries such as Owly’s Andy Runton, Unshelved’s Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum, American Elf’s James Kochalka, and more against each other in drawing pictures on the fly based on audience input.
Finally, at least for ONE librarian, the attention to the category was fruitful:
I have never really been into graphic novels before, but after their talks I just may check them out.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.