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Richard & Judy’s Hitmaking Ability

The Guardian’s John Dugdale comments on one of the big publishing stories in the UK, one that promises to grow even more in 2007: the Richard & Judy effect. It’s especially visible in the top 100 bestsellers of 2006: Kate Mosse at number one and Victoria Hislop at number two were both R&J selections, as were Dorothy Koomson (nine), Sam Bourne (13), Elizabeth Kostova (14) and Elisabeth Hyde (39). Not only have the lists become more female-dominated – correlating with R&J’s picks this year – but an additional effect is that more debut or new-ish authors are getting their due, especially with literary fiction. “Most of those in the top 20 have only emerged as hit-makers within the past three or four years,” Dugdale says, “and you have to look as far down as No 17 – Patricia Cornwell – to find a 90s survivor.” Which should, on the surface, bode well for additional new talent this coming year…

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