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News stories from the book world in January 2005

January 2005

Three success stories

31 January 2005

In the midst of all the doom and gloom about writers breaking through, some recent success stories show that it can be done. A combination of determination and hard work – often with a stroke of luck – seems to be the key.  Read more

Second-hand book sales threaten authors' income

24 January 2005

Authors and agents are increasingly disturbed by the booming sales of second-hand books, but there seems to be little they can do to stop this. The growth in used book outlets has been rapid, as reported in News Review 12 July 2004. Abebooks now represents a huge and still growing way of finding a book through booksellers all over the world.  Read more

Christmas sales better than feared

17 January 2005

In the end Christmas was less of a disaster than the book chains on both sides of the Atlantic had feared, and there was even some guarded optimism. The rush into the shops did come very late, with book buyers delaying their shopping till the very last moment, but books proved popular Christmas gifts and the book trade did in fact get its annual bonanza.  Read more

What makes The Da Vinci Code an international bestseller?

10 January 2005

The arrival of Alex Hamilton's year-end paperback fastsellers table for 2004 makes it a good moment to examine the publishing phenomenon of the year. Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has been a worldwide bestseller, with more than nine million sold in the US and the same commercial success repeated in translation across the world.  Read more

Surge in online sales spurs discounting pressure

3 January 2005

Bookshop figures for Christmas 2004 are not yet available, but it looks as if the gloom of the last quarter will be reinforced by the statistics, which will show a poor Christmas for the retail sector as a whole. This seems to have been another year when many people chose to stay at home and order on the Internet.  Read more