I’ve mused about the effect of the internet on Travel Publishing a few times here. The FT has a nice piece on it that really hits home the figures:
And the latest news from the front line is not good. In fact, over the past two and a half years, guidebook sales in Britain have fallen off a cliff. Sales for 2009 were down 18 per cent on 2007, and if the second half of this year follows the first, 2010 will be down 27 per cent on 2007, according to data from Nielsen BookScan. If the current rate of decline continues, the final guidebook will be sold in less than seven years’ time.
Lonely Planet’s Australia guide sold 20,015 copies in 2008, and just 13,530 in 2009 – a drop of a third (again, the figures are from Nielsen BookScan, covering sales from British retailers). The Rough Guide to France, which sold 11,943 in 2008, fell 45 per cent to 6,561 the following year. Worse is that these are considered bestsellers.
Of course, the fortunes of individual titles fluctuate with the launch of new editions and the fashionability of destinations, but average sales across the whole range paint an equally bleak picture. Last year, the average UK sale of each title from the leading five publishers was around 1,500 copies.
via FT.com / Reportage – The end of the guidebook?.
Great piece in the NYT about an unheralded female Irish playwright:
IN the first half of the 1930s Teresa Deevy, a deaf writer from a small city in the southeast of Ireland, was one of the most prolific and acclaimed female playwrights in the world. She was “the most important dramatist writing for the Irish theater,” her fellow playwright Lennox Robinson wrote in The Dublin Magazine. Her most famous drama, “Katie Roche” (1936), a complex portrait of a lower-class servant with dreams of grandeur, inspired the critic St. John Ervine to write in the London newspaper The Observer, “Miss Deevy may be a genius.”
Then Deevy all but disappeared. The Abbey Theater in Dublin, which had produced six of her plays in seven years, started rejecting her work, and her prolific output slowed down considerably. Today she is rarely mentioned in theater courses; it’s difficult to find her plays. “Katie Roche” is occasionally produced, but her other works remain unpublished and ignored.
via Resurrecting Teresa Deevy’s Lost Irish Voice – NYTimes.com.