Yesterday I was very relieved to discover that the Royal Wedding dress did not have a marketing sticker on it that said 'The Next Princess Diana'.
Is it not possible for publishers to ignore Stieg Larsson, and Henning Mankell, and try to sell authors on their own merits?
It was bizarre that Henning Mankell's The Man from Beijing was sold with a sticker of Kenneth Branagh playing Wallander, when the book had no connection with the Ystad detective at all except that part of the book was set in Sweden.
But then we also had Johan Theorin and Jo Nesbo both marketed as the 'Next Stieg Larsson'. Camilla Lackberg sold with 'If you like Jo Nesbo you will love this' stickers. Hakan Nessser was favourably compared with both Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell by someone who obviously thinks their books are similar.
Even Professor Leif G.W. Persson was sold with a sticker that proclaimed he was reminiscent of Henning Mankell and of course Stieg Larsson, but not as pretty as Camilla Lackberg. [I added that last bit myself, in case you wondered.]
Even Camilla Ceder's debut novel Frozen Moment comes with the blurb 'Move over Wallander'.
In my excitement I mistakenly posted on Friend Feed that Villain by Shuichi Yoshida did not mention any Scandinavians on the cover, but then remembered an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled Shuichi Yoshida, Japan's Stieg Larsson? Enough is enough I thought as I viewed the cover of Camilla Lackberg's latest novel The Gallows Bird, sent to me by the very generous Maxine of Petrona.
No stickers, no mention of other Scandinavians with the blurbs on the front cover merely stating 'Seven Million Books Sold' and 'The hottest female writer in Sweden at the moment'.
Do male crime writers ever get described as the 'hottest'?
But in small print on the back cover is the sentence 'Translated by Stieg Larsson's and Henning Mankell's Steven T. Murray'.
Do writers get upset when their translator is marketed as another more famous writers property? I should not think so if it boosts sales, and I expect that will happen despite the very small print.
Read Steven T Murray's complete list of translations here.
Reviews of some excellent books translated by Steven T. Murray.
I would have pointed out that the photo of Camilla Lackberg on the back cover of The Gallows Bird is far too small, but for the fact that the Swedish female crime writer closest to my age is Maj Sjowall.