Ken Follett

Numbers show that the publishing industry is handling the rise of e-readers better than what folk knowledge might suggest.

The fall publishing season is in full swing. There can hardly have been a year with more luminaries atop both the fiction and nonfiction bestseller lists; J. K. Rowling, Michael Chabon, Ken Follett, Junot Diaz, among others, represent literary acclaim and commercial appeal. Diaz is having an especially good run. Stephen Colbert, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Young, Bob Woodward, and Salman Rushdie are just a sampling of the nonfiction bestsellers.

James Patterson released 14 blockbuster novels last year while writing hardly a word. Whether you consider it genius or fakery, his writing franchise has made him a bogglingly wealthy man. Patterson has taken top spot in the just-released Forbes fiction rich list, with an estimated income of $US94 million ($NZ118 million) last year. He outstrips the number-two ranked Stephen King, who settled for making ends meet on a mere $US39 million ($NZ48 million).

Profits at the book publisher Penguin slumped by almost 50% in the first six months, thanks in part to the runaway global success of EL James's Fifty Shades of Grey, which is published by a rival, Vintage Books.

The runaway success of Fifty Shades and The Hunger Games helped cut sales at Penguin by 4% to £441m and its adjusted operating profit down 48% to £22m.

Penguin Group (USA) announced today the release of its Holiday eSampler featuring excerpts from over 40 frontlist, backlist, and upcoming titles. Available for free wherever eBooks are sold, this collection provides readers with the opportunity to browse sample chapters of a variety of adult and young adult books across genres: from bestselling thrillers and critically-acclaimed

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