Expectation, drama, punditry and mass hysteria - the hype over the publication of a royal wedding biography nearly matches the fervour accompanying the event itself.

Retailers are steeling themselves for a slew of books after Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement.

From Andrew Morton's as-yet unnamed book with publisher Michael O'Mara, to be released next year, to another by James Clench, a reporter on the Sun, to hit shelves on Friday, the publishing industry is hoping to capitalise upon a predicted nationwide boom in patriotic reading.

At least half-a-dozen others are in the pipeline. "I have published a lot of books of this kind and I have never lost money," said O'Mara, who commissioned the Morton book.

"Some people will just bang out anything with pictures of the bride and groom that they can make money out of. What's for sure is this is the biggest royal event since Diana's funeral. That was, again, a national holiday; very emotional. There's as much demand for commemorating happy events, of course, as sad ones."

O'Mara hopes to sell at least 100,000 copies of the Morton book, the release date of which will be announced when the wedding date is finalised.

He confirmed Morton will receive a percentage of sales.

"It's a bit like making a movie," he added. "You can make a lot or you can lose your trousers."

The book will be simultaneously be published in Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.

His confidence is matched by the nation's retailers.

"Royal events always stimulate the market," Rachel Russell, business unit director for books at WH Smith told the Bookseller.

"This will bring people who don't typically buy books to the market. It's like the people who only come into bookshops at Christmas."

A senior buying manager at wholesaler Gardners, Phil Edwards, said:"It has to be good. I'm one of the few here who can remember Fergie and Andrew's wedding. We did very well out of that. "Once the date is set in stone [the trade] will be able to pin promotions on it. It will be good for the export market."

While the Morton book has been written from scratch, other publishers are rushing out updated titles that have been published in previous guises.

Kate Middleton: the Making of a Princess by Claudia Joseph, is published in paperback this week but was released last year.

"The general consensus was they were going to get engaged at some point and people planned their books accordingly," said Joseph, a journalist who has worked for Tatler.

In such a fierce race, it is important to be ahead of the pack.

Anna Valentine, a senior commissioning editor at HarperCollins overseeing the Clench title, said: "We have been in conversation about it for some time. The text was in place up until the engagement and we turned around the final chapter last week.

"We wanted to make sure that we had the definitive book and are confident it will be the leading book in the market. We have a lot of interested in the translation market too."

Valentine said the first print run is an ambitious 100,000 copies to be sold for £14.99 ( $31) each.

William & Kate: Celebrating a Royal Engagement is published on Friday by Anova. The text has been written by Jonathan Hayden to accompany photos by Robin Nunn.

"Every publisher is claiming to have a unique angle, but that is cobblers," said Hayden.

"Up until now anyone who wasn't part of the inner circle wouldn't have had anything. Our advantage is that the book is driven by the pictures.

"Robin has been intimately involved in covering the royals for 30 years."

- Independent