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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I missed a birthday!


Well, good lord, how could have missed it? Pulp romantic fiction publisher Mills & Boon batted its century on 28 November, and I didn't even notice.

And yet it is such an amazing success story. Just look at the statistics! Mills & Boon report a UK book sale every three seconds, with 130 million sales globally every year. The books are translated, too, and published in 26 countries.

One thousand, three hundred Mills & Boon authors labor at their computers to produce four books each per annum, to meet an apparently insatiable demand for their work.

The economic downturn has actually worked in their favor -- sales of romantic fiction are rising as people look for happy endings. As editorial director Karin Stoecker reveals, "Generally speaking, we have been quite successful in gloomier economic times." When budgets are tight and newspaper headlines dire, "It's a value-priced entertaining escape from otherwise harsh realities."

3 comments:

Chap O'Keefe said...

This tends to confirm what I've heard elsewhere, Joan. The O'Keefe western novels go "out of stock" at the publisher's warehouse faster than ever, although they are relatively dear, being small hardbacks. Hale couldn't fill orders for Misfit Lil Cleans Up seven working days after the official publication date. New Hale publicity person Helen Ogden says, "I think despite how grim the economy is looking at the moment people are still rushing to buy books as a sort of escapism." And I've read somewhere that during the Great Depression small luxuries, like chocolates and bought haircuts, just kept on selling.
Happy, maybe even prosperous, New Year!
Keith

Joan Druett said...

It's great that Westerns are going well, too, particularly when they are O'Keefes. Maybe we will see a revival! We watched vids. of "Maverick" and "High Noon" recently, and had such a good time we wondered why the Western genre ever went out of fashion. I also think often of Mehitabel the Cat, a wonderfully whimsical creation who cheered up many a reader in the Great Depression.

Amber said...

toujours gai, joan, toujours gai is what i always say