‘Blockbuster Complex’ Redux

The  article “Blockbuster or Bust”  in the Wall Street Journal is one of the few of the recent spate of articles on the book business to give some insight. Written by a professor from the Harvard Business School, it looks at the reason publishers pay so much money for certain titles.

Amazingly, it’s because, more often than not, these books end up making money.

This is not a new phenomenon. Over twenty-five years ago, The Blockbuster Complex, by Thomas Whiteside, shocked the general public by pointing out that publishers were paying big buck for books and doing large first printings. Why, Crown bought Princess Daisy by Judith Krantz for a staggering $50,000 and did a first printing of 150,000 copies!

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