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Translations Still Big in Italy
Herbert R. Lottman -- 12/15/97
Despite the economic uncertainties that marked most of last year, Italian publishers showed their faith in the future by pushing title production over the 50,000 mark -- 51,134 books, to be precise, of which 31,586 were new (this last figure represents a 3.2% rise over the previous year). Total printings fell -- indicating that the optimism was at least premature.
Once again, translations took a large slice of the pie -- 26% of all titles -- and as might have been expected, translations from English represented 51.9% of the lot (and 13.5% of all books published, new and reprint). The numerical breakdown can be found in the annual statistics published in the book trade monthly Giornale della Libreria. In the general trade, the average printing of a title translated from English was 9187 copies in 1996, while the corresponding averages for German and French titles were 5115 and 5059, respectively; for Italian originals, the average printing of a trade title was 3976.
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