Genre tells us nothing about the quality of the story, but does “Random House” and “Harper Collins” give us any idea as to the caliber of the writing? Are you aware of the “Brand” book you are buying?
The decades of invisibility have left publishers at a real and distinct disadvantage in the modern landscape. Nearly every other company—in every other industry—has spent those same decades working tirelessly to make sure every person on Earth was aware of their name, logo and products. The Nike swoosh “means” something: quality, fitness, health. The Apple logo “means” something: quality, beauty, power. The New York Times logo “means” something: quality, investigation, information. All of these companies have fought to make sure their brand was synonymous with quality… and a few other things.
To date, very few publishers have been able to successfully create a brand that “means” anything to readers. Most publishers have never spent much time on brand-building beyond stamping their logo on a book’s spine, and therefore their names and logos connote nothing to their products’ end users other than, perhaps, “book.” Right now—during this digital avalanche of self-published content that’s falling on our heads—is when readers most need to see established symbols of expert, edited, quality content. Readers are looking for clues that will help them to separate wheat from chaff—both online and on the shelves. Publishers have an opportunity, now, to build brands that fill that need.