Monday, 23 March 2009

Try Before You Buy

Penguin TastersPenguin is now making the first chapter of every novel it publishes available on the internet for free at Penguin Tasters from where they can be read on screen, downloaded and printed or put on an iPhone or Blackberry. Current offerings include This Charming Man by Marian Keyes and Until It’s Over by Nicci French. This service should prove popular in the current economic climate as people have less money and are becoming more discerning in their spending choices. Readers are returning to the classics, with Penguin reporting increased sales of classic novels such as those by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope, while Amazon are also noticing a boom in 19th century novels. Award winning books are achieving higher sales than usual as people want a guarantee of quality and awards seem to promise this. Sales of misery memoirs have plummeted as readers look for something more uplifting in these recessionary times. Thrillers and other forms of escapist fiction are selling better than ever, as are books that try to explain the current financial crises, books about growing vegetables, slow cooking and knitting. Sales of books in hardback formats are also down as people are prepared to wait for the cheaper paperback formats. Advances to authors are being reduced and first time authors are finding it harder to be published as publishers are feeling the pinch.

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