Study: As Book Review Space Declines So Do Book Sales

The book business is hurting in Canada. Could it partly be because book review space in newspapers is shrinking? A survey of eight major Canadian papers (including four owned by the CanWest chain) found that “in the CanWest papers, 14 per cent fewer books were reviewed last year than five years earlier. The decline at CanWest most keenly affected Canadian authors, who received half the reviews in 1997 but only 42 per cent of a smaller total last year. Books from small presses were 18 per cent of 1997 reviews at the CanWest papers, versus 11 per cent in 2002. Reviews in the other four papers rose by 17 per cent over the same period. The Star published 100 reviews over three months last year (a 1 per cent increase), the Globe & Mail published 155 (up by 2 per cent), while the Halifax Chronicle Herald tripled its reviews from 19 to 57.”