Book industry is performing well despite downturn

The Greek book industry is performing well, despite a slight drop in the number of books published in 2001, according to statistics released by Biblionet SA on a new CD-ROM. Biblionet, which maintains comprehensive data on all books published with a Greek ISBN, is jointly run by the National Book Center (EKEBI), book trade organizations and 45 Greek publishers. The slight drop in production in 2001 – 6,917 new titles against 7,590 in 2000 – reflects an overall economic downturn, Sotiris Kabouropoulos of EKEBI’s book-monitoring unit told the press yesterday. The 8.9 percent decrease from 2000 still represents a 4 percent increase over 1998. Literature accounts for 39.1 percent of all titles published in 2001 (fiction, 24.4 percent and children’s literature, 15.6 percent). Theoretical and applied sciences represent 48.8 percent of total output. From 1998-2001, the numbers of scientific titles, school textbooks and children’s literature increased steadily. Fiction, at 27.1 percent of total output, is one of the highest rates in the European Union. Literature accounts for 2,706 titles in 2001, of which poetry represents a healthy 10.9 percent and theater a very low 1.9 percent. The most vigorous performers in the social sciences are educational and legal books, (26.8 and 25.7 percent of 1,198 titles), followed by social science theory (11.9 percent) and economics (10.8 percent). The majority (64 percent) of titles published in 2001 were by Greek writers, the remaining 36 percent were translations, chiefly from English (58.8 percent), French (21.7 percent) and German (7.4 percent). This represents a slight decrease in titles translated from English (down from 60-62 percent from 1998-2000), and a slight increase in titles translated from Italian, French, Spanish and Russian. The majority of translations are of fiction, philosophy, general texts, applied sciences and technology. Biblionet’s statistics don’t cover many English language teaching titles, says Kabouropoulos. Greek publishers have a competitive ELT presence, but publish titles with British ISBNs. For information from Biblionet, tel 210.330.0926 (e-mail [email protected]).

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