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Bumper year for book trade

Posted October 13, 2011, by Josie Chun

It’s been a bumper year for book publishers and sellers, with book sales going strong this Christmas. Publishers are ‘feeling pretty good about the trade and our part in it,’ says Peter Blake, sales director for Penguin Books. Sellers, too, are enjoying healthy holiday trade. To keep up with increased business, 55 per cent of booksellers have increased staff for the holiday period.

So what are Australians reading this Christmas? By far the standout performer this year has been Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium Trilogy’. Other big sellers are Stephanie Meyer’s ‘Twilight Series’ and fiction from Barbara Kingsolver, Alex Miller, Hilary Mantel and Matthew Reilly.

Food continues to tempt book buyers, with Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion, the SBS Food Safari book by Maeve O’Meara and cookbooks in general doing well. Other popular food titles include the MasterChef Cookbook and Jane Kennedy’s Fabulous Food Minus the Boombah.

Autobiography is a perennial favourite, with new offerings such as Ray Martin’s Ray: Stories of My Life, Bart Cumming’s Bart: My Life and Close to Flying, by Cadel Evans.

Children’s books are another popular genre, with books like Jeff Kinney’s Dog Days: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Anthony Horowitz’s Crocodile Tears, and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are enjoying a resurgence, thanks in large part to the recent opening of the film adaptation.

So whether you’re in the book publishing or selling business, are an avid reader or just looking for great gift book ideas, there are a lot of reasons for Christmas cheer this year.

Josie Chun

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