It is no comfort to ex-employees of the big New York publishing houses that have lately been shedding staff, but book sales are bucking the global economic trend. Retail is down by double-digit figures, so is tourism, and the rest of the media world is said to be ‘in tatters’. But in France and Germany book sales are up more than 2 per cent compared to last year, and in the Anglophone world the book market has so far diminished by less than 1 per cent.
The raw figures are cheering for scribblers and their agents and publishers, though the picture becomes somewhat blurred on closer inspection. Hardback fiction has taken a hit, especially in America, and so have diet and fitness books. Most of the rosy glow is down to a trilogy of