Friday, 7 March 2014


We're always being told about the crisis in publishing. The end of the net book agreement, the growth in  electronic reading,the competition from other entertainment media - whatever the reason, or combination of reasons,authors are receiving smaller advances and  traditional book publishers live in fear of being sacked. A sad situation, but one with a logic behind it - isn't it?

I'm not so sure. Because if all these pessimistic prognostications are accurate, how come that more crime novels than ever before in history are being published? During the last months I have received on average three book parcels a day. The fact that some are duplicates is cancelled out by the fact that there are quite a few crime novels I'm not sent - for example, I was spared from making a fool of myself by failing to identify J.K.Rowling as the true author of a book by "Robert Galbraith", because I never received it.

As I'm not only a reviewer, but this year also a judge for the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger Award,  I've been bombarded with books, and my tiny office (or study, or workroom) is filling up with them. A tiny  percentage of them will make enough   money for their author to live on, and consequently enough money for the publisher to show  a profit on. And yet  they come, three or  four a day, more and more and more.......But still, they say there's a crisis in publishing.

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