Book trade dreams of a fairy-tale Christmas

Anticipation, drama, punditry and mass hysteria – the hype around the publication of a royal wedding biography nearly matches the fervour accompanying the event itself.

Retailers are steeling themselves for a slew of books in the wake of Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement. From Andrew Morton's as-yet unnamed book with publisher Michael O'Mara, to be released next year, to another by James Clench, a reporter on The Sun, to hit shelves on Friday, the publishing industry is hoping to capitalise upon a predicted nationwide boom in patriotic reading.

At least half-a-dozen others are believed to be in the pipeline. "I have published a lot of books of this kind and I have never lost money," said O'Mara, who commissioned the Morton book.

"Some people will just bang out anything with pictures of the bride and groom that they can make money out of. What's for sure is this is the biggest royal event since Diana's funeral. That was, again, a national holiday; very emotional. There's as much demand for commemorating happy events, of course, as sad ones."

O'Mara hopes to sell at least 100,000 copies of the Morton book, the release date of which will be announced when the wedding date is finalised. He confirmed Morton will receive a percentage of sales, though refused to specify exactly how much.

"It's a bit like making a movie," he added. "You can make a lot or you can lose your trousers." The book will be simultaneously be published in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, along with Britain.

His confidence is matched by the nation's retailers. "Royal events always stimulate the market," Rachel Russell, business unit director for books at WH Smith told The Bookseller.

"This will bring people who don't typically buy books to the market. It's like the people who only come into bookshops at Christmas."

"It has to be good. I'm one of the few here who can remember Fergie and Andrew's wedding. We did very well out of that," added Phil Edwards, a senior buying manager at wholesaler Gardners. "Once the date is set in stone [the trade] will be able to pin promotions around it. It will be good for the export market."

While the Morton book has been written from scratch, other publishers – with an eye on the Christmas market – are rushing out updated titles that have been already published in previous guises. Kate Middleton: the Making of a Princess by Claudia Joseph, is published in paperback on Thursday but was originally released last year.

"The general consensus was they were going to get engaged at some point and people planned their books accordingly," explained Joseph, a journalist who has worked for Tatler and The Mail on Sunday. "My publishers decided to bring their book out before the engagement and bring out the paperback when they got engaged.

"With regard to being lucrative, it depends how many copies you sell. You only make a lot of money if it's a bestseller."

In such a fierce race, it's important to be ahead of the pack – and that means preparation.

Anna Valentine, a senior commissioning editor at HarperCollins overseeing the Clench title, said: "We have been in conversation about it for some time. The text was in place up until the engagement and we turned around final chapter last week.

"We wanted to make sure that we had the definitive book and are confident it will be the leading book in the market. We have a lot of interested in the translation market too."

Valentine said the first print run is an ambitious 100,000 copies to be sold for £14.99 each.

William & Kate: Celebrating a Royal Engagement is published on Friday by Anova and written by Jonathan Hayden to accompany photos by Robin Nunn.

"Every publisher is claiming to have a unique angle, but that is cobblers," said the book's author.

"Up until now anyone who wasn't part of the inner circle wouldn't have had anything. A lot of it would be speculative. Out advantage is that the book is driven by the pictures.

"Robin has been intimately involved in covering the royals for 30 years. It gives you an awfully good scaffold on which to build."


* Claudia Joseph's book, released last year with the subtitle "Princess-in-Waiting", is to be republished in paperback this week as a post-engagement product. The work uses research into Ms Middleton's ancestors and material already in the public domain.

The book's publisher claimed the author had spoken to Middleton's "inner circle" of friends, but some reviewers pointed out that many of them were distant cousins. Ms Joseph tries to expound upon Middleton's upbringing, her relationship with the Queen, and, not least, her on-off relationship with the future monarch.

* The journalist, broadcaster and royal commentator Robert Jobson has authored this account of the "love story which has captivated an entire nation", due out on 6 December. It is being billed as the "true insider account" of the pair's relationship.

Jobson's previous books include the bestseller Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, written with the Scotland Yard royal protection officer Inspector Ken Wharfe, along with Harry's War, the "true story" of Prince Harry's fight to serve on the front line.

His latest offering promises tales of the pair's first meeting at the University of St Andrews and plans for married life in Wales.

* Photographer Robin Nunn has teamed up with former publisher Jonathan Hayden for a picture-led volume of 130 pictures celebrating the pair's "very modern British romance". Nunn has travelled with the Royal Family since the early 1980s. His previous work includes an illustrated biography, 2003's William, The People's Prince. his new book, published on Friday, is described as "a commemoration of the relationship".

* The forthcoming tome from The Sun's James Clench, published on Friday, outlines Kate Middleton's "struggle" in the run up to her engagement to the future king and contains 150 photos by the newspaper's royal photographer Arthur Edwards. Edwards made his name photographing Princess Diana and this week Clench has reported on, among other stories, Prince William's stag do.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent