Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Best New Art Books in February 2011

Here's the commentary from my update of my information site The Best New Art Books for new books publsihed in February 2011.

What a pity it doesn't have a "look inside" on Amazon
- it makes it impossible to tell whether it's any good

Commentary on the changes this month:
  • Few new art books have managed to transition into a second month. Those that become top selling or top rated books frequently do this because of sales prior to publication and then sales following publication. It just goes to show you can't start the marketing too early.
  • It's very odd how the flavour of new art books changes every single month. This month there are an incredible number of new books which are focused on artists, art and culture from the past. Possibly the post-Christmas period provides an opportunity for these books to surface rather than drowning in the more popular books which tend to be published in time for the run-up for Christmas.
  • "Top" does NOT mean "best".  It's also apparent that a February 2011 publication date does not mean "new" either.   It's noticeable with one wildlife painting book this month that purchasers (book reviewers?) in January have been very annoyed by the repackaging of a painting book which dates back to 1997 - without any indication whatsoever that this is anything other than a new book.  I'm not entirely clear as to how people could have been leaving reviews in January for a book which was apparently not published until February.  However I've included it in the listing as an AWFUL WARNING. If I spot any more examples of this sort of marketing in future I shall start naming names on my blog! :) 
The one I'd probably end up looking at longest in a bookshop - pondering on use of the plastic - is  Powerful Watercolor Landscapes: Tools for Painting with Impact by Catherine Gill ( and that's because, unlike the other book I'd be interested in (Judy Martin's Mastering Sketching: A Complete Course in 40 Lessons) it's got a "Look Inside" feature.

I also like Catherine Gill's paintings which I can see on her website!  I do like an artist and author with a website - I always feel much more comfortable about knowing what sort of book it's going to be :)

Check out the "Look Inside" option on Amazon
- particularly the Contents pages

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have an OLD book by Judy Martin called Drawing in Colour. I will never part with it. It's wonderful. I think her new one will be just as good.

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