Skip to Content

News stories from the book world in January 2002


High Discounts Hit Authors

30 December 2002

There is mounting concern amongst literary agents in the UK about the practice of reducing authors' royalty payments on books sold at high discounts. Originally introduced into authors' contracts in the early '90s to allow for bulk orders when the retailer would ask for a special higher discount, the increasing pressure on margins caused by active discounting has meant that the l  Read more

Bestselling authors disappoint...

23 December 2002

The American book market, which Jack Romanos of Simon and Schuster described as going through 'the most prolonged retail and bookselling slump of recent memory' has thrown up a few surprises in 2002.  Read more

A breakthrough for e-books?

16 December 2002

The recent launch of the TabletPC has given publishers the hope of a real breakthrough for e-books. At the recent TabletPC Digital Publishing Conference in New York (sponsored by Microsoft but also by other companies with e-book readers), the hope was expressed that the new e-reader format will help with the wider adoption of e-books.  Read more

Do Books Cost Too Much?

9 December 2002

A recent article in has raised once again the vexed question of book prices. The feeling is that consumers are resisting the ever-upward spiral of book prices, but because of discounting and the high proportion of a book's price paid to the retailer, publishers' margins are also increasingly under pressure.   Read more

Who will Judge the Judges?

2 December 2002

Controversy surrounds literary awards on both sides of the Atlantic.   Read more

The End of Copyright?

25 November 2002

A thoughtful piece by Fred Reed in the Washington Times has raised the question of where copyright is heading, in the age of digital sound and words.  Read more

British Book Market Grows

18 November 2002

Figures released this week by Mintel show that the UK and Ireland are Europe's fastest-growing markets for books, with the UK increasing by 5.7% to £2.7billion (€4.3) in 2001, outpaced only by Ireland's 11.3% increase.  Read more

Scandal, Innuendo and Celebrity Gossip

11 November 2002

There's never been a time like it. Bookselling in the UK has been dominated during the last few weeks by scandal, innuendo and celebrity gossip. First there was the kiss-and-tell memoirs of politician Edwina Currie, whose book revealed, to everyone's astonishment, her genuinely secret affair with former prime minister John Major.  Read more

Who Writes for the Writers?

4 November 2002

A recent article in Forbes magazine raised once more the question of ghost-writers helping big blockbusting writers keep up their sometimes formidable output. (see News Review 5 August 2002 - Bestselling Authors 'Delegate' the Writing).  Read more

Booker to Outsider from Small Publisher

28 October 2002

The 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction was awarded this week to an outsider, Canadian Yann Martel, for his Life of Pi. With a new sponsor and a more transparent approach for the judging panel, this has been a year of changes for the Booker. One judge, David Baddiel, argued that the award should go to a more popular novel and criticised the number of serious novels submitted.   Read more

'The golden age'

21 October 2002

In an erudite and thoughtful article originally written for Prospect magazine, Toby Mundy, the publisher and MD of Atlantic Books in the UK, has posed challenging questions about publishing and its future. This article is so important that we believe it should be presented as news.  Read more

News from Germany

14 October 2002

The 2002 Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two. seems to have confounded most of the doomsayers. In spite of initial figures which suggested that attendance would be 4% down, visitor figures for the first day were 3% up on last year, with international visitors up 6.5%. The overall attendance throughout was slightly down however and the Fair was described as 'steady', rather than spectacular.  Read more