Friday, March 25, 2011

First Edition

On Books - Katie Allen from The Bookseller

Intriguingly, free is leading to e-book sales, it seems. Surveys by the BML and Bowker Publishing Services presented at the 2011 Books and Consumers Conference in London yesterday have revealed that a fifth of those surveyed cite free sampling of titles as their primary reason for buying digital. This figure leaps to a third in the US.

Other reasons for buying e-books include the cheaper price (23%), and space concerns (also 23%). The most popular reason (25%) was the ease of carrying titles, especially to take on holiday, while 20% said it was because e-books are more “green” and 18% were inspired by the range of titles available.

The sad death of screen legend Elizabeth Taylor yesterday hasn’t (yet) prompted a flurry of new titles on the actress—her passing was news to many of the publishers contacted by The Bookseller, who were no doubt too busy working to be perusing the Daily Mail website or hanging around on Twitter. Faber and J R Books are bringing forward the paperbacks of their existing titles on Taylor, while Pan Mac has ordered a reprint of its 2007 biography by J Randy Taraborelli, the same Taraborelli whose title on Taylor’s pal Michael Jackson was revamped and rushed out after the latter’s death last year (unbelievably, in June 2009).

Newest is Mainstream’s biography, which was acquired six years ago but deemed too litigious to publish before her death.

Meanwhile Jean Auel’s The Land of Painted Caves, the sixth in her Earth’s Children series, picked below as one to watch, has just been revealed by Amazon as its most pre-ordered book of 2011. The first print run for the title, Auel's first in nine years, has been set at 250,000 copies. Hodder’s publicity and marketing campaign, which included the American author's only event in Europe, at the Natural History Museum in February, appears to be paying off.

Another author with a following possibly equally as massive is Christopher Paolini, whose Inheritance Cycle is to be completed this autumn with Inheritance released on 8th November. The story is already one of our most popular on the Bookseller website, perhaps indicative of the heartwarming eagerness of his fans: it’s enough to keep you feeling positive about publishing.

Most reviewed this week

1. A Widow's Story Joyce Carol Oates (Fourth Estate, 3rd March, £20, hb, 9780007388165)

2. When the Killing's Done T C Boyle (Bloomsbury, 7th March, £18.99, hb, 9781408811481)

3. Five Bells Gail Jones (Harvill Secker, 10th March, £16.99, hb, 9781846554025)

4. The Report Jessica Francis Kane (Portobello, 3rd March, £12.99, pb, 9781846272790)

5. The Omnipotent Magician Jane Brown (Chatto, 3rd March, £20, hb,9780701182120)

6. The Killer of Little Shepherds Douglas Starr (Simon & Schuster, 3rd March, £16.99, hb, 9780857201669)

7. Pigeon English Stephan Kelman (Bloomsbury, 7th March, £12.99, pb, 9781408810637)

8. The Paris Wife Paula McLain (Virago, 3rd March, £12.99, hb, 9781844086665)

9. Other People's Money Justin Cartwright (Bloomsbury, 7th March, £18.99, hb, 9781408803882)

10. Spring David Szalay (Jonathan Cape, 3rd March, £16.99, hb, 9780224091268)

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