When choosing a book, how important is the company that published it?

I almost never notice who published the book.
  128549 votes, 51.2%

I have a few publishers I especially like, but mostly I choose the book based on other criteria (story, author, etc.).
  40902 votes, 16.3%

Not very important, but I usually make a note of it.
  39031 votes, 15.5%

never ever!
  37095 votes, 14.8%

Very important. I know if [my favorite publisher] published it, it will be a great read!
  2135 votes, 0.8%

Have learned a LOT over this past year and I do take good notice of publishers. However I've become a HUGE indie author supporter over time. MUCH respect for indie authors, anti-pirating and promote the best I can for them!! So basically what matters most is do I like the authors work. If I do I'm going to promo like crazy the best I can!! Support both, care about the content and the author very much regardless of how it's published!!
  1260 votes, 0.5%

It matters for eBooks because the quality range is so huge.
  1019 votes, 0.4%

I notice the publisher if the book is badly edited. Otherwise it's not very important, though I actually check the publisher out just for curiosity. (write-in)
  216 votes, 0.1%

It doesn't factor into my purchasing decisions. (write-in)
  150 votes, 0.1%

only if it is a part of a series i'm collecting (write-in)
  119 votes, 0.0%

Wait, WHY would people care who the publisher of a book is? IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! (at least not to me) (write-in)
  108 votes, 0.0%

Somewhat important - knowing the publisher will give me a vague idea of what the book will be like. It's not generally make or break if I'm deciding what to read, but it can tip the balance one way or another. (write-in)
  97 votes, 0.0%

it can make a whole lot of difference if it is a translation (write-in)
  51 votes, 0.0%

I've never even noticed. (write-in)
  36 votes, 0.0%

I always check the publisher, but I base my reading decisions on other criteria, such as recommendations. (write-in)
  33 votes, 0.0%

It's only important when the book has been published by several different publishing houses. Some I love for their lay-outing, so that will influence my choice. (write-in)
  32 votes, 0.0%

never !
  31 votes, 0.0%

Holy cow. WHO CARES? (write-in)
  30 votes, 0.0%

Publishers don't write books. I'm more interested in the author or what the promise of the book is. (write-in)
  25 votes, 0.0%

I avoid self-publishing houses, but otherwise the subject, author, and personal recommendations are most important. (write-in)
  24 votes, 0.0%

This poll is too long and there are too much too read (write-in)
  24 votes, 0.0%

Never (write-in)
  20 votes, 0.0%

depends-certain publisher are known for a genre. But most of my authors jump publishers (write-in)
  20 votes, 0.0%

I will favor Baen, Random House, and other publishers who do not participate in Apple's Racketeering Model. (write-in)
  19 votes, 0.0%

I think it only matters if someone needs to know, or you are doing a work cited. (write-in)
  17 votes, 0.0%

I usually don't mind the publisher, but i hate it when a certain publisher has a more attractive book cover than the one i bought first!!..other than that i care more about the book and author itself (write-in)
  15 votes, 0.0%

Some publishers are more reliable, carry better made or attractive books and reputable writers. I also find that some publishers are work harder for the best translations, and in classics. I like Scribner, Penguin, and Oxford. However, I don't fully determine my book buying by publishing house, it is only a factor. (write-in)
  15 votes, 0.0%

I prefer certain publishers over others when it comes to classics (write-in)
  14 votes, 0.0%

Very important. I don't support mess. (write-in)
  12 votes, 0.0%

While selecting a translated book it matters..Sometimes translators differ with publishers and so their translation.. better read the review to find these kind of discrepancies.. (write-in)
  9 votes, 0.0%

only when they r on my bookshelf
  8 votes, 0.0%

I only check when the book is in the genre I would write, that way I would have a better notion of where to turn to when I look for publishing. (write-in)
  8 votes, 0.0%

Who the fuck cares about the publisher (write-in)
  6 votes, 0.0%

Rarely matters--except nonfiction, in which case I'll occasionally check as a preliminary gauge of bias & credibility. Otherwise, doesn't matter. (write-in)
  6 votes, 0.0%

What's important is the content, not the publisher. And the author of course, but sometimes I don't care. (write-in)
  5 votes, 0.0%

Not at all unless I'm looking to replace a specific edition. (write-in)
  5 votes, 0.0%

I definitely judge books partially by their covers, and some publishers match my preferred aesthetic more than others. Usually Picador for contemporary, Penquin for classics. (write-in)
  5 votes, 0.0%

I check the publisher, and some mean more to me than others - but I ALWAYS check the original publication date. Every book's a time capsule! (write-in)
  5 votes, 0.0%

Very important, but only because I work in the business. Before then, publishers didn't mean anything to me. (write-in)
  4 votes, 0.0%

If i dont see anything this first time, i go back and look at the publisher of books ive liked in the past. (write-in)
  4 votes, 0.0%

It only matters to me when buying a physical book (exception: ebooks being free or not). When finishing out a series, I want them all to match. And for classics, I'm almost always drawn to Barnes&Noble. They're the cheapest at my favorite used bookstore. (write-in)
  3 votes, 0.0%

add more answers next time (write-in)
  3 votes, 0.0%

For print books, the publisher doesn't matter to me at all, but for e-books it does, because I only buy DRM-free, (write-in)
  2 votes, 0.0%

I check the publisher because I know which houses publish genres I have absolutely no interest in reading. Other than that, I'm open to any publisher that has produced competently edited books in the past in the wide variety of genres I *do* want to read. (write-in)
  2 votes, 0.0%

yep (write-in)
  2 votes, 0.0%

Avoid publishers in general, choose the most obscure editions and especially avoid HarperCollins, Puffin, Random House, Bloomsbury etc. Self and indie publishers FTW. Definitely worth noting though. (write-in)
  2 votes, 0.0%

Touchdown (write-in)
  2 votes, 0.0%

I'm only just now looking at them to be honest. Sometimes I'd take a glance but only now am I semi-looking for it. (write-in)
  1 vote, 0.0%

I usually take notice when I first pick it up, because as I writer, I want to know not only what's on the market, but whom it's selling to. So yeah, it's mostly out of curiosity, but if it's something I really enjoyed or even something I'd write, I make a mental note of which publishing company decided to support it. :D (write-in)
  1 vote, 0.0%

I have some favorite publishers, but I dont think it's THAT important. I have just two publisher that I really don't like and it was kind of hard for me when they published a book I REALLY wanted to read. I got over it, but I still dont like them any better. (write-in)
  1 vote, 0.0%

There is like 2 that I avoid (write-in)
  1 vote, 0.0%

The chronicles of audy (write-in)
  1 vote, 0.0%

It is important to me if it is a non-fiction historical work, especially if it is an ebook (write-in)
  1 vote, 0.0%

Poll added by: Patrick

Comments (showing 51-100 of 137) (137 new)

message 51: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell I don't really pay attention at all to who published the book. I'm more interested in the story inside the book.

message 52: by Christos (new)

Christos Tsotsos When it comes to new authors I base my selection on the story. There are publishers which are very consistent, both in editing quality and good selection of authors. I would be more inclined to pick a new author with an interesting story from these publishers.

message 53: by Hannah (new)

Hannah I get curious so I usually check it out and I have some companies I read a lot. Mostly because of Authors..etc.. But it doesn't matter to me one bit. Unless I knew something about the books they did or whatnot.

Nana's Unsolicited Opinion I never actually checked the publisher, what matters to me is how good is the book and how it was depicted by the author... I only learned a few publisher from the author of some books I love...

message 55: by Francesco (new)

Francesco why should i care?

message 56: by Mitzi (new)

Mitzi Szereto I'm more inclined to notice the author and the general book description. There are the rare occasions when a publisher's name will sway my interest toward it - but often it's the opposite and the publisher sways me against the book!

message 57: by Linda (new)

Linda Armstrong gina wrote: "As a librarian ordering books for our library I am very aware of publisher when it is for a Nonfic book. There are certain publishers I never order from. Ever. If I see a book, and it's an unfamili..."
Good points, Gina!

message 58: by Linda (last edited Jun 02, 2011 10:03AM) (new)

Linda Armstrong Emily wrote: "I pay attention to publishers mainly on SciFi/Fantasy books. I'm more likely to give a cheesy cover a try if it's from a publisher I trust."

This is a good point. Certain publishers know what genre fans want. (Same goes when you want to avoid certain kinds of books, e.g. religious/inspirational/self-help)

message 59: by Linda (new)

Linda Armstrong Fiona wrote: "I like Vintage, Oxford University Classics and Modern Library Classics for their covers, design and overal feel and quality - including layout etc.

I like American book editions for some reason......"

Excellent points! Nothing is more annoying than a reference book or classic with faulty binding.

message 60: by Linda (new)

Linda Armstrong Jose wrote: "I don't get how this matters. To those of you who have a preference...Will you not buy a book that was not published by your favorite companies? A deal breaker??"

It's a deal-breaker if it is published by one of the vanity houses, yes. My reading time and budget are limited. I depend on experienced editors to wade through mountains of raw material so I won't have to.

message 61: by Linda (new)

Linda Armstrong Katrina wrote: "I make a note of the publisher in reference to the content of the book because as a writer it's good research practice to note which publisher is most likely to publish which type of writing style/..."

Excellent points! This is also true for nonfiction, literary (especially poetry), and instructional books. Certain publishers have specialized in their fields for years and take pride in producing accurate, scholarly, quality works.

message 62: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten The only time I will check is if the book is part of a series or a theme I am collecting. Just so it'll match nicely with the others on my shelf. This is mainly in my case just with classic literature books.

message 63: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Jose wrote: "I don't get how this matters. To those of you who have a preference...Will you not buy a book that was not published by your favorite companies? A deal breaker??"

It matters because a decent publisher filters the 'crap' and a majority of the really hideous reads out of your personal, private "slush pile". So while you may not go looking for a specific publisher, seeing the name of a house you know and respect for having authors and material you are likely to enjoy makes it easier to make a selection.

message 64: by Fazeo (new)

Fazeo I have a few favorite publishers, so I do take the publisher into consideration. For instance I'm a huge Baen Books fan.

message 65: by Robby (new)

Robby King Maximum Ride wrote: "The Classic I am reading at the moment has a few confusing words and most of them have little astrixes next to them, so when you look down the page it gives you a meaning and when they talk about a..."

I, too, have a few classics published by Barns & Nobles. I especially found their footnotes helpful when reading O' Henry's Selected Stories. O' Henry was a walking dictionary and some of the words were archaic. They also included helpful geographical notes, and Shakespearean notes. (He referenced Shakespeare a lot.)

message 66: by Ann (new)

Ann I do pay attention when a publisher doesn't do a good job, but I don't hold that against an author, especially a new one, who doesn't always have much control over what happens to their work.

I do go by reviews and if a story sounds good I'll brave a publisher I don't much like and buy the book anyway. And I can hope the writer moves to a better house as they get more established. But it's really not at all fair to hold that against the author.

message 67: by Dr M (new)

Dr M I voted "not important but I'll usually make a note of it", but it's a bit more nuanced than that.

I don't base reading decisions on publisher. From the point of view of whether to read a book or not, I couldn't care less who published it. However, I am somewhat selective about editions: I like my books to look and feel good, I like them to be of at least reasonable quality where things like print, typesetting and binding are concerned, and if I'm buying books in a series, I try to get all books in the same edition. If come across a crap edition from a certain publisher, I will try to avoid books from that publisher if they are of similar age and type. Likewise, if I have a book that I really like in terms of physical quality, I am more likely to select editions from that publisher when buying other books.

For my professional reading I care when I can, which isn't always. However, I try to avoid certain publishers whose policy I don't like. For example I try not to buy books from one publisher that consistently over-price their books by 50%-100% compared with comparable books from other publishers.

message 68: by Anonymous (new)

Anonymous Man this poll is really popular!

message 69: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Neal I haven't found any publishers I DON'T like but I have learned that I don't like to read self-published books! They are riddled with grammatical errors usually and really need help. There is one exception to my self-published statement and that is LaToya Brown's book, Borrowed Water which just had a typo or two. And, she had something worthwhile to say.

message 70: by Helena (new)

Helena Jole If it's a book I'm not familiar with at all, I think I might be slightly more likely to consider it if I happen to notice that it's Baen or Tor. Other than that I wouldn't say it's a factor.

message 71: by Emily Elizabeth (new)

Emily Elizabeth It matters to me when collecting a series, but in general I try to avoid American publishers if I'm buying in Canada or online because I cannot stand the American spelling!

message 72: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Bacon I never notice the publisher. I just read.

Sariah the Authoress Julia wrote: "i sometimes even forget the publisher is there, like it doesnt even interest me. i do notice the author, title of book, and the cover, but never do i check who the publisher is, when it was publish..."

Yeah, totally. I wrote the "Wait, WHY would people care who the publisher of a book is? IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!! (at least not to me)" answer.

message 74: by Byron 'Giggsy' (new)

Byron  'Giggsy' Paul I always check, but it doesn't necessarily factor in. I use it most when buying a book when browsing and I come across something that looks interesting but for an author I'm not familiar with. In that case, the reputation and my past experience with the publisher factors into my guess as to how likely I will enjoy the book. If its a publisher that has had lots of hits with me, then I'm much more likely to buy a book from an author I don't know just because the description sounds good.

I also think publisher is more important with the small presses... to me, there is a larger variance of quality from them than from larger presses. As a sci-fan fan, I've come across a variety of small presses out there, and they have different standards... some I feel like they will publish anything (even though I know the rejection rate is still high). Others I feel are very selective, and I know that even though the publisher is small and the author may be unknown, I feel like I'll get the same quality as from a top publisher.

message 75: by Raquel (last edited Nov 15, 2011 10:06AM) (new)

Raquel I pay more attention to publisher now because a lot of "publishers" are really just a company who helps out self-published authors get their books out on the market. So I look for established names.

message 76: by Byron 'Giggsy' (new)

Byron  'Giggsy' Paul good point Raquelle.

However, I have found some good stuff self-published, so its still good to research and than assume its crap... Especially authors that have a history of past 'real' publications. I'm seen authors with 10 published novels, that self-publish something because it rejected too much or maybe they are trying to get a higher profit margin, but often it seems to be of equal quality of their other work. For accomplished writers, very little can separate their published work from their rejected work

message 77: by Raquel (last edited Nov 15, 2011 01:58PM) (new)

Raquel I take the self-published titles on a case-by-case basis. I have some very talented writer friends who are self-published.

Also, it's interesting what you said about profit margin. One of my favorite actors, Jack Klugman, could have been published by an established publisher but chose self-publishing to get more profits. The profits went to a cause that his friend Tony Randall believed in. Very nice way to publish that book!
Byron 'Giggsy' wrote: "good point Raquelle.

However, I have found some good stuff self-published, so its still good to research and than assume its crap... Especially authors that have a history of past 'real' publica..."

message 78: by B.C. (new)

B.C. Publishers are like movie producers. I always know what I’m going to get out of a Jerry Bruckheimer film (fun and lots of explosions). Publishers are the same, they publish what they like. If you find that what you like aligns with what they like, getting one of their books is a safe bet for you. Always remember that Publishers are not non-profit or artistic purists. They publish what they like…as long as it will make money. That being said, you find that each publisher has a formula and their books tend to follow that formula. That can be good or bad, depending on the reader.

message 79: by Madi (new)

Madi I don't really take too much notice of the publisher but sometimes I will take note of the publisher of one book and know that they published books for other authors I love.

message 80: by Kat (new)

Kat Sherri wrote: "Usually, if I notice a book is badly edited, I'll make a point to check the publisher. Often such books are from a vanity press or a pay-to-print outfit, and I like to know who they are so I can a..."

I do the same thing. If I can't get through the first chapter because it just does not make sense or there are just a bunch of punctation errors, I look at the publisher to make sure I steer clear of that company.

message 81: by Christine (new)

Christine Leov Lealand Halley wrote: "For the most part, it doesn't really matter to me what the publisher is. Sometimes, it I like the design, I'll make note of them. Also, I've been researching different publishers that accept work f..."
Do yourself a favour - read all this blog and his friends Dean Wesley Smith et al

message 82: by Christine (new)

Christine Leov Lealand Julian21 wrote: "i actually dont care books are stupid why read a book when you can watch the movie"

So y you on Goodreads then! Hmm? Books are far far more detailed and interesting than the movie and some movies entirely miss the plot of the book. But how would you know? Books are stupid you say.....

message 83: by Margot (new)

Margot I would take note of it really, but I wouldn't care.

message 84: by Janie (new)

Janie I'm a minister. The publishing house of certain kinds of books I need for my work can shed light on the author's theology, which can be helpful.

message 85: by Annie (new)

Annie If I read a book with typos and bad grammar, I will not bother with the publisher again. If they haven't the sense to edit properly and guide the writer away from spell-check, grammar-check via his computer, they aren't much good to me.

message 86: by Phyllis (new)

Phyllis Duncan I rarely look at the publisher until, as others have said, the bad grammar and typos compel me to do so.

message 87: by Laura (new)

Laura I only check when I realize that the type of book is something I would write, that way I know which publishers could publish my work.

message 88: by Alice (new)

Alice This matters to me with academic books, and sometimes non-fiction, but never with fiction.

message 89: by Kahla (new)

Kahla The publisher, like the cover, helps me notice books that I might enjoy. Of course, the content is much more important. If I judged solely on the cover/publisher I would read many books that I don't actually like. As it is, I rarely pick up a book that isn't a "good read".

message 90: by [deleted user] (new)

If anyone here have read a translated version of "The Left Hand of God", it was BADLY printed. I only got half of the book, as the pages 200+ was exactly the same as the ones in the start (0-200)

message 91: by Gráinne (new)

Gráinne If I'm collecting a series I try to get the same publisher. Most of my books seem to be Bloomsbury.

message 92: by Farrin (new)

Farrin I love progressive publishers like seven stories press. Penguin classic are footnote abusers. I'm reading their edition of Bleak House and it feels like every other sentence has a footnote at the end of it. That's too much. Also they footnote rather obvious things.

message 93: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne I have serious issues with the practice of publishing fan fiction for profit (like Fifty Shades of Grey) and I avoid "publishing houses" like Omnific, The Writer's Coffee Shop and sadly, Dreamspinner that not only openly publish fan fiction, but actively recruit authors of popular fan fiction. Omnific even went to a Harry Potter convention to host a panel teaching fan fiction writers how to turn their fan fic into an "original" novel they could sell.

I find these predatory and unethical practices offensive and incredibly damaging to the fan fiction community as well as the publishing industry. So I check the publisher on all the books I buy and recommend to avoid supporting this practice.

message 94: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Publishers are mainly important to me when it comes to translations, especially manga. The publisher will give me a general idea of how well the series will be treated. I'm a huge Yen Press fangirl because their releases are very high quality and they treat their properties and fans very well. Other than that, I'll occasionally look up a publisher and their policies on ebooks and libraries. Some publishers are unfair to libraries and I try to boycott them because I love libraries so much. xD

message 95: by Lashya (new)

Lashya Wilson I said, "Not very important, but I usually make a note of it."

message 96: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn I's never important.

message 97: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Froelich I don't bother to notice who the publisher is. I'm more interested in the author and the content of the book.

message 98: by Renfield (new)

Renfield As someone interested in the business, I like to know where my favorite authors are publishing just like I like to know what agency they are with. I also read small press books often, which, even more so than the bigs, have certain uniform and reliable... style, I guess is the best way to put it?

message 99: by Kate (new)

Kate There are a few publishers who produce books I KNOW I will like. I tend to read the description and make choices from that,but if I happen to see that it is from a preferred publisher, I have a better clue of what I am getting myself into! :) (ie. WE all have certain expectations for a Harlequin, no matter what line it comes from).

message 100: by Great (new)

Great i check the year because in a series coz its sometimes hard to tell the order of a book in a series, but otherwise WHO CARES! Amulet, scholastic, Random House, what does the publisher have to do with the storyline or story in the book!!!!

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