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News stories from the book world in February 2004

February 2004

'In serious danger of commercial suicide'

23 February 2004

One issue is currently dominating the pages of the British book trade press, which is the increasing incursion of non book-trade elements into bookselling and the ever-increasing pressure on prices and discounting as a way of selling books. The end of the Net Book Agreement has had many unforeseen effects for the book business.  Read more

40% of Americans read for pleasure

16 February 2004

The US Census Bureau's new Statistical Abstract of the United States contains some comfort for the book world. Perhaps surprisingly, Americans would still rather settle down with a good book than surf the web. 40% of adults said they read books for leisure during 2002, compared to 27% who said they surfed the Internet.   Read more

The making of a bestseller

9 February 2004

What makes a bestseller? Why is it that some books jump to the top of the bestseller lists and then stay for many months? The most obvious answer to this question is the author's name, and indeed most of the slots on the fiction bestseller lists are filled by the 'bankers', well-known authors whose books publishers can rely on to become bestsellers.  Read more

Flamingo grounded

2 February 2004

This week brought the announcement from HarperCollins UK that its Flamingo list is to be merged into Fourth Estate, with the loss of two jobs, including that of the highly-regarded publishing director, Philip Gwyn Jones.  Read more