Sunday, August 8, 2010

How to be a Villain by Neil Zawacki

““Should I wear black or red?”
“Do I go with winged monkeys or ninja warriors?”
“Just where will I put the evil lair?”
Questions like these trouble any self-respecting villain. Now, for the first time ever, there is a handy guide to resolving these and other quandaries. HOW TO BE A VILLAIN includes:
• How to Do an Evil Laugh
• The Evil Henchmen Guide
• Fashion for the Evil-Doer
• The Evil Plan Generator
Whatever your evil background or experience, HOW TO BE A VILLAIN will help you discover and develop your inner darkness.”

This book is published by Chronicle Books, an American Publisher, who publish quite a few humourous and other titles including all those “Worst Case Scenario” books.  I like the look of their books. They understand that a book of this sort should be eye catching and well…. a little glossy, lots of hip and cool illustrations (?) and funny….  Now, I’m mentioning this book in this blog because of an observation I have made over the last few years, Chronicle books are very hard to sell secondhand on line, so much so that I generally wont list books that are published by these people.  This is not the sort of observation I make about any other publisher.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the books, they look great and I honestly believe these books should/could sell, they just don’t.  There could be many reasons for the lack of interest, my favourite theory is that this sort of book is more of a physical purchase, in that a buyer needs to be tempted by flicking through, and seeing the great illustrations and reading a snippet of the text.  A brief description on a computer screen can’t really do this book justice.  The other theory (and remember these are just theories) is that these books are intended as “fluffy” gifts.  “What am I going to buy Uncle Dave for Christmas?…” and that is probably why I and many other secondhand booksellers end up with these books.  All the Uncle Dave’s had a good laugh and then decided it was time to move the book along.  So why have I got a copy of this book….?  Well I thought I’d give it another go, you never know.

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