Rose Fox intereviews John Joseph Adams in her “Genreville” column for Publisher’s Weekly:
The assistant editor for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and a longtime book reviewer, he has recently turned his hand to editing anthologies. I interviewed him about Seeds of Change (Prime, August 2008).
Seeing a new anthology with the title Seeds of Change reminded me of Laser Books, the imprint created by Harlequin Books in 1975. The company hoped to repeat its success with Harlequin Romances in the sf genre, putting out three books a month, a Kelly Freas cover on every one. Laser Books’ initial marketing strategy included sending multiple cartons of the line’s first novel, Thomas F. Monteleone’s Seeds of Change, to sf conventions across
Unfortunately [Seeds of Change] was not very good and immediately attracted the mockery of a large number of convention attendees. I happened to attend the Equicon SF convention in
that year. By Saturday night of the con, groups of fans were gathered around on the upper balconies of the hotel publicly mocking the text as it was read aloud. As each page was finished it was ceremoniously ripped out of the book and flung out over the balconies to the convention floor below. Los Angeles
The web shows the 1975 Equicon was held in
The launch of Laser Books anticipated today’s marketing technique of offering free downloads of sf novels — with the critical difference that publishers now understand how much it helps to pick books people will like.