Helena Markou


  Division: :Literature & Languages

  Email:  h.l.markou@stir.ac.uk



Title of research topic

The Shelf-Life of Books:  An Exploration of the Lifecycle and Longevity of Books in the UK in the 21st Century.

Description of research

With 180,000 new titles now published each year, there is fierce competition for space on bookshop shelves.  This research aims to identify and investigate long selling titles within UK trade publishing (namely the books you find in high street bookshops).  It will first establish an overview of the typical lifecycle of books across genres, using quantitative data analysis.  Then seek to identify and explore the cultural significance of those titles that, against all odds, remain on bookshop shelves.

Through this research data analysis methods will be developed and the themes of longevity, obsolesce and the impact of online bookselling on the UK publishing industry explored.


My professional career spans publishing, bookselling and digital consultancy.  As Publishing Innovation Manager at Blackwell, I developed and launched the UK's first custom textbook service to incorporate chapters from multiple copyright holders.  Prior to this, I worked in International Sales at Taylor & Francis.  I have lectured in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University and Digital Book History at School of Advanced Studies, University of London.

Research Interests

Bookselling, publishing, product development, consumerism, book history, book culture, creative industries, digital publishing, digital book history, digital humanities.

Further information 

Helena on Twitter: @helena_markou
Helena on LinkedIn
Helena on Academia.edu

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