- Present discounting is a form of madness. The trade lost £26.5 million on the last Harry Potter. (Presumablyy this means 'forfeited £26.5 million by giving large discounts on the official retail price'.)
- If you ignore Harry Potter, sales of hardback fiction are down 25% in the last five years.
- The tradition of pubishing hardback first, and only hardback, is crackers. We do it 'because that's the frame-set we work in, but it must be unprofitable madness.'
- Giles's proposal: do the mass-market paperback version first, alongside a more deluxe paperback version. Then, a few months later, or even simultaneously, offer a hardback collector's edition.
There were other interesting sessions at the conference too. The speech from the BA President, David Roche, is worth reading. And then there's Michelle Harrison, of the Henley Centre marketing consultancy: she sees the electronic book as a serious threat to paperbacks, but is not offering an opinion on the timescale.