Are publishers guilty of ‘cashing in’ on Auschwitz?
I find myself in Newcastle airport a lot – it’s a work thing that means I have to go up there a number of times each month. When I am there I tend to browse the book shop that populates a small corner of the departure lounge to see if there is anything interesting to add to my book collection.
Nothing strange there, I guess.
Recently I have noticed a bit of a trend – and I don’t really know if I should be worried about or not. It is a trend of a seeming proliferation of books with Auschwitz in the title. As I browsed the ‘charts’ in the aforementioned book store (I am guessing these ‘charts’ are more representative of how much of a promotional budget the publishers have with the retail outlet, rather than measuring actual sales, but hey-ho) I counted no less than 6 books that were in the current ‘best-sellers’ lists:
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz, The Volunteer (a true story of a resistance hero who infiltrated Auschwitz), Last Stop Auschwitz, Cilka’s Journey (The sequal to the Tattooist of Auschwitz) and The Sisters of Auschwitz.
That’s a lot of Auschwitz.
As I stood there contemplating all of these titles I couldn’t help but wonder if I was witnessing the publishing industry ‘cashing in’ on a subject that clearly continues to captivate the wider public. I hope that publishers are not just jumping on the bandwagon and commissioning books with the word Auschwitz in the title just because they know they may flog a few extra copies.
If this is the case, this would be deeply disappointing as I think the subject matter deserves a bit more respect than being treated like a mini profit centre for desperate publishers trying to balance their books.
Anyone else of the same opinion? Or am I making something out of nothing?