an Rankin is under no illusions about motives: crime pays. At last year’s Cheltenham Festival he said: ‘Most of us [crime writers] are selling much more than any more “literary” author could hope for, so they can be as snooty as they like.’ Andrew Taylor whose crime novels have received critical plaudits, agrees: ‘At the end of the day, if you want to make a living as a writer, you stand a better chance if you’re writing crime fiction than if you are writing literary fiction.’
The supermarkets are in the book trade for the long term and, some say, for the kill. Danuta Kean looks at what they have brought to the party and why some in the trade would rather they went home.
Publishing is, to coin a phrase, hideously white. That is the
harsh conclusion of the first industry-wide survey into cultural
diversity. It is also the opinion of the vast majority of
respondents to the decibel survey. “A sea of white faces prevails, with occasional Asian ones and rare Black ones,” writes one.
Price, fuelled by publishers’ variable discounts, has been the chief weapon in the retail battle for market share. But Danuta Kean asks whether demands for discount from some players gone too far?
Shopfloor booksellers are the backbone of the book trade, but, as Danuta Kean found out, low pay means many are forced to live below the breadline.