Monday, March 15, 2004

Croatian Book War

Last week Jutarnji List didn't just re-wrote history of Croatian newspaper publishing with free copies of Umberto Eco's book. Their arch-rivals, Zagreb daily Večernji List (Vecernji List), quickly responded by firing its marketing chief and launching the similar actions of their own. Today their offered free copy of book by Veljko Barbieri, showing that their choice of free or bargain books is going to be limited to Croatian authors.

In the meantime, Croatian book publishers are up in arms over the stunt that could destroy book publishing business in Croatia. Idea of Croatian people getting used to free or 20-30 HRK worth of books (average Croatian book is sold for 100 HRK) is scary. Although most of those bargain books are going to be unread, while real book lovers won't mind higher prices.

In the meantime, the practice has spread to other parts of former Yugoslavia. Belgrade's Večernje Novosti (Vecernje Novosti) and Sarajevo's Dani have launched similar stunts.


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