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'Too far apart from the mainstream'

10 November 2003

'Perhaps one reason the publishing industry is enjoying only slow growth is that we do not listen closely enough to the market, because we read too far apart from the mainstream of the market...

'Any doubt that a gap exists between the reading habits of publishing pros and those of the general public can be dispelled with a simple test. The adult fiction authors most widely read in the past two decades - that is, the authors who have sold the most books - probably have been Nora Roberts, Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, Danielle Steel, John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Crichton and Stephen King. And then there's the fresher crop of blockbuster commercial authors like Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, Laurell K. Hamilton and Jan Karon. How many books by each of these authors have we read? If the number is few or none, perhaps it would be wise to read more of them, in order to understand, to appreciate and even to learn to love what so much of our market loves.'

Jeff Zaleski in Publishers WeeklyInternational news website of book publishing and bookselling including business news, reviews, bestseller lists, commentaries