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Chapter 2 - Crime Fiction and the International Publishing Industry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2022

Jesper Gulddal
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
Stewart King
Affiliation:
Monash University, Victoria
Alistair Rolls
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, New South Wales
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Summary

This chapter analyses the position of crime fiction in the global publishing industry. Drawing on bestseller data from nine countries across all continents, it confirms that crime fiction is prominent in the commercial top segment everywhere, but to varying degrees. The genre is most dominant in countries with strong domestic crime fiction traditions, such as the UK and the USA, and least visible in non-Western markets (e.g. Brazil and India). Data from the UK and the USA show very few bestselling crime novels in translation, unlike other book markets where bestselling translations are more common – primarily translations from English, but to a notable extent also from the Scandinavian languages. Discussion focusses on the power dynamics of global publishing, the increasingly important sector of rights sales and adaptations, author branding and serialization, and the rapid structural changes that are currently taking place in the book trade, including the increased interest in digital formats like streamed audiobooks.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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