Backlist and Frontlist, Bestsellers and Longsellers in a Small Publishing Market: The Case of the Greek Publishing Industry at a Turning Point

By Christina Banou.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Greek book publishing industry is a rather small one, mainly based on family owned and run publishing companies. During the last fifteen years the number of active publishing houses has grown and the annual book production has increased. While chain bookstores are emerging, promotion techniques are constantly changing as new information technologies are altering the publishing scene. This is the context in which Greek publishing houses, whether large, medium or small, formulate their publishing policy. This paper, after providing a short overview of the current main features of the Greek publishing industry, focuses on the way that Greek publishers on the one hand develop their frontlist and on the other use their backlist mainly as a means of promotion and as an intangible asset that adds value to their company. The paper focuses both on traditional and on new publishers. Issues of competition and promotion are also pointed out. The paper also considers bestselling techniques and issues including influences from abroad and translation matters. Bestsellers in Greece, as elsewhere, dominate book sales and shape reading behavioural patterns to a great extent. It is noteworthy that the majority of bestsellers are works by Greek writers. This paper’s conclusions may enlighten selection criteria of titles to be published, the development of the frontlist, the utilization of the backlist, and the creation of publishing policy in terms of bestsellers and/or longsellers in Greece and generally in small publishing markets.

Keywords: Publishing Industry, Backlist, Frontlist, Bestsellers, Greece, Publishing Company

International Journal of the Book, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.139-154. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 631.105KB).

Dr. Christina Banou

Assistant Professor, Department of Archive and Library Science, Ionian University, Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece

Dr. Christina Banou is Assistant Professor in Book Publishing and Book Policy at the Department of Archive and Library Science, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece. She holds a Ph.D on the ornamentation and illustration of the Greek book, published in Renaissance. Her main areas of research interest include book publishing, history of the book publishing industry, book policy, aesthetics of the printed book, reading policy, history of reading and of libraries. She has presented papers in refereed journals and has participated at international conferences. A monograph of her concerning the book publishing industry has been published in Greek.

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