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Friday Midday Links: A Retrospective of the Amazing Hermione Granger Series

For any and all prospective employers, here is a list of Borders’ employees who are on LinkedIn.  And here is a blog designed to collate job postings that may be of interest to those employees.

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Sad about the ending of the series “Hermione Granger”?  A poster laments the end of the series and looks at its strength and weaknesses:

And there we have it: The defining hero of our age is a girl who saves the day with her egalitarianism, love of learning, hard work, and refusal to give way to peer pressure. It’s hard to think of the Hermione Granger series as anything other than flawless. And yet — as fans constantly point out — there is a very big flaw in the series. You know who I’m talking about; it’s He Who Must Not Be Named, but we spell it H-A-R-R-Y.

The character of Harry Potter is an obnoxious error in the Hermione Granger universe, made more obnoxious by his constant presence. It’s tempting to just write Harry off as a love interest who didn’t quite work out; the popular-yet-brooding jock is hardly an unfamiliar type. And, given that Hermione is constantly having to rescue Harry, he does come across as a sort of male damsel-in-distress.

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Paper book sales are down, of course.  In the May AAP report, ebooks are now the #2 format for trade books (we here at Dear Author read trade fiction rather than university press works or religious texts, etc).

Category 2011 YTD 2010 YTD Percent Change
Adult Paperback $473.1 Million $576.4M -17.9%
E-Books $389.7M $149.8M +160.1%
Adult Hardcover $386.2M $504.1M -23.4%
Children’s/YA Hardcover $198.1M $211.4M -6.3%
Adult Mass Market $185.1M $264.8M -30.1%
Children’s/YA Paperback $163.5M $192.5M -15.1%
Downloaded Audiobooks $36.5M $31.2M +17.0%

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Is this something that may be coming for ebook covers? Many of the print first publishing houses are still designing covers with print in mind. Print and digital art is quite different. The new digital movie poster for The Hunger Games is designed for digital viewers in mind. (Sound will start at the link)

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Gwyn Cready Shorts coverTeleread points us to Piotr Kowalczyk’s use of Phoster, an iThing App, that could help self published authors create covers. As I look at self published books, I think the major difference between even the semi professional ones and the publisher driven covers is that the publisher driven covers have a lot of depth to them. Maybe that comes from actual photoshoots or maybe it is some other photoshop magic.  Speaking of needing photoshop magic, maybe the shorts should have been dodged out here?

 

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From reader Jaye is this wonderful article about the undergarments of women in the 1860s:

It took an hour for Ms. Gist to squeeze into a dozen layers that a lady would have worn in the 1860s—stockings, garters, bloomers, chemise, corset, crinoline or hoop skirt, petticoats, a shirtwaist or blouse, skirt, vest and bolero jacket. By the end, workshop attendees were skeptical that seductions ever occurred, with so many sartorial barriers.

“How did they ever have hanky panky?” asked novelist Annie Solomon.

With great effort, it turns out.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

15 Comments

  1. Las
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 11:52:42

    Aww, I love Hermione. She’s just so awesomely ruthless. Seriously, she’s done some really shady stuff for the cause. There’s not a doubt in my mind that if she had chosen to fight for the other side the series would have ended in book 3, with Voldermort ruling the planet.

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  2. katieM
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 12:01:42

    @Las: Not Voldermort – Hermione. Voldermort would just be footnote in her domination.

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  3. SandyW
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 12:07:04

    The Wall Street Journal article is very interesting and I am all in favor of more accuracy in clothing as described in historical fiction. But I have just a few quibbles. I was a Civil War reenactor for over twenty years, so all this is from the perspective of 1850-1865 or thereabouts.

    The outfit described is not universal. It sounds more like high-fashion for well-to-do young women. “A shirtwaist or blouse, skirt, vest and bolero jacket” was more often “a dress.”
    The garment worn under a corset is not a blouse; it’s a chemise – a slip. The article is correct that corsets were not worn over bare skin.
    Victorian corsets do not have to be completely unlaced in order to take them off. They fastened with hooks down the front and laced in the back to fine-tune the fit. Front hooks meant that women could dress themselves; the corset could be removed by unhooking it. Yes, it can be a fairly quick procedure. The article is right, a corset worn properly could not be pulled over one’s head. Not without loosening it first.

    I made my own period clothes for reenacting, including my corset. I was as accurate as practically possible, including fiber content, patterns, and construction techniques. It never took me an hour to get dressed. Never. Twenty to thirty minutes, tops, and that includes fiddling with my hair. No, I did not require a lady’s maid to get me dressed.

    As to how hanky-panky was conducted and underwear was actually worn, I recommend period pornography. Extremely educational.

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  4. Las
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 12:32:41

    @katieM: Someone needs to write that story right now!

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  5. Christine M.
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 12:54:38

    @Las: I have a hunch you can probably find a dozen versions up on FF.net. :) Whether the quality is up to par or not, however, ias another question altogether. But yeah, Hermione rocks.

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  6. Allie
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 14:08:32

    That’s like saying the X-Files were all about Scully. I do see the point (I was a member of OBSSE) but I think when you want universal appeal for kids’ books, you have to make a boy the main character and give him an awesome best friend who is a girl. Boys won’t read a book if the girl is the main character. They also won’t read it if it’s by an obviously female author – hence the use of “J.K.”

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  7. Meredith
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 14:23:36

    I think when you want universal appeal for kids’ books, you have to make a boy the main character and give him an awesome best friend who is a girl. Boys won’t read a book if the girl is the main character. They also won’t read it if it’s by an obviously female author – hence the use of “J.K.”

    Gosh, I really hope this isn’t true. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, seems to be doing pretty well with boys, no? (Not to mention men — I know an all-male reading group that is reading it this month, which completely delights me.)

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  8. DA_January
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 16:12:19

    Yes. Heaven forbid a series not cater to boys.

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  9. Maura
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 17:15:39

    I had the same thought as SandyW. I’m not a reenactor, just a hobby costumer, but it shouldn’t take an hour to get dressed even in a well-to-do young lady’s outfit with a few pieces, and some of the ladies giving these workshops seem to be a little misinformed about a few things (corsets have to be entirely unlaced to get them off? wha? Some do, but a lot of women demanded and wore more practical front-closing stays). A front-busk corset goes on in five minutes maximum, if I don’t have help, and it doesn’t take that long to pull on petticoats and the like, either. I almost never have help getting dressed, and I manage just fine in 20-30 minutes max.

    Just goes to show the need for a grain of salt, I guess.

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  10. Emily
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 18:17:24

    First of all I love Hermione! Seriously!
    I also love Harry! And Ron! The three of them rock! I do feel like the books are more male centered, but honestly I like guy and girls working together regardless of gender.
    (also both Harry and Hermione seem to be partly based on JKR which is interesting)
    Second I love Deeanne Gist. Perhaps people wore different clothing at different times and in different regions. I think the main reason she probably took so long getting dressed was she wanted to show the audience; go through the stages, show how each different piece was put on, talking in depth about all things costume-wise. She may have been dressing through out the whole talk for staging purposes.Also familiarity with the clothing would allow you to go faster. It says that the clothes came with an instructional video that was 17 minutes long.
    The lady’s maid ties into her last book Maid to Match. It is an Inspirational but I recommend it.

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  11. sarah mayberry
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 18:47:25

    @emily @sandy w I just watched the video and it seemed to me that all the inaccuracies are in the journalist’s retelling, not from the writers themselves. From what I saw, they knew the chemise was a chemise and not a “blouse” and they didn’t mention how long it took to get dressed. And you clearly saw them clipping the corset on before someone else tightened the laces. Me thinks the WSJ journo was looking for an angle and didn’t care about accuracy. But others must have attended Gist’s session at RWA – what did she say then, I wonder?

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  12. library addict
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 22:54:18

    I love Hermione, too. The series worked as well as it did though because Harry couldn’t do it all himself. He needed Hermione and Ron, Ginny, etc to succeed. There were actually multiple well-developed female characters in this series. So I want to believe the series would have sold as well and become the phenomenon it did even if the main character had been a girl.

    And I never got the Hermione and Harry as a couple vibe from the books (though the screenwriters certainly tried to force it in the films). It was always Hermione and Ron.

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  15. Serena
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 12:00:40

    Hey, I adore Hermione. I love her strenght and her faults. I love everything about her. I only WISH she was the main character, because then we’d at least, you know, know the names of her parents. It pisses me off to no end that we have this complete and awesome backstory for NEVILLE and SIRIUS and REMUS and RANDOM MALE CHARACTER #2121 (aka people not as important as Hermione) and the only thing we know about backstory of the most important female character in the books is that she has two parents, who are dentists.
    It’s not the character’s fault, it’s the writer’s fault. I also don’t care if she announced the names in an interview, like I didn’t care when she announced Dumbledore’s gay in an interview. It only counts if she cares enough/has the guts to put it in the books.

    ReplyReply

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