The Greek Book in Crisis: Structural Deficiencies and Challenges

By Anna Karakatsouli.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 2, 2014 $US5.00

Since 2009, when the Greek economy was brought to a standstill, the numbers of books published yearly and of publishing houses have steadily declined. The Greek book market has always been shielded from aggressive takeovers and big multinational conglomerates because of the Greek language barrier and the insignificant size of its reading public in comparison to international standards. As a result, the publishing sector in Greece still consists mostly of small family businesses of archaic structure and traditional character particularly vulnerable to market pressures. Consumption patterns have also been modified in the last three years. Readers tend to buy less expensive books, even more so since books are considered to be costly goods, and their choice is particularly directed to economy or history essays. The Greek book had undergone a similar crisis during the Great Deflation of the 1930s. Explanations for this decline were harsh antagonism of popular low-price fiction and newspapers, upper class reading habits that preferred foreign literature, lack of libraries, and heavy taxation. This paper focuses on a comparative study of the two crises of the Greek book market now and then through surveys, analyses, and interviews in order to detect its structural deficiencies and discuss possible remedies.

Keywords: Publishing, Marketing, Greece, Economic Crisis, Future Directions

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 11, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 2, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 338.246KB)).

Prof. Anna Karakatsouli

Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre Studies, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Anna Karakatsouli is an assistant professor of modern and contemporary european history and culture in the theatre studies department of the University of Athens, Greece. She studied history in Athens, Strasbourg and Paris. She has been an expert associate in UNESCO (Paris) and vice-director at the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation (Athens). Her research interests focus on intellectual history, history of the book, history of colonialism, and the study of networks, exchanges and transfer of ideas. Her latest publication, In the Land of Books: The Publishing History of Hestia Publishers and Booksellers (1885-2010), has been published by The Colleagues’ Publications (2011) [in Greek].

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