Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century

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Penguin, Mar 27, 2012 - Business & Economics - 464 pages
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"All you need to know about the industry at a time of momentous change."
-Drake McFeely, chairman and president, W.W. Norton & Company

For nearly five centuries, the world of book publishing remained largely static. But at the dawn of the twenty-first century, the industry faces a combination of economic pressures and technological change that is forcing publishers to alter their practices and think hard about the future of the book.

John Thompson's riveting account dissects the roles of publishers, agents, and booksellers in the United States and Britain, charting their transformation since the 1960s. Offering an in-depth analysis of how the digital revolution is changing the game today, Merchants of Culture is the one book that anyone with a stake in the industry needs to read.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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User Review  - jphamilton - LibraryThing

Here's a fine book for anyone—veteran of the book world or newcomer—who wants to learn a great deal about how this industry works, fails, and is presently a world a-changing. There is a enormous ... Read full review


Preface to the Second Edition
The Polarization of the Field
Big Books
Extreme Publishing
Shrinking Windows Revolution
Trouble in the Trade
Appendix 1Selected Imprintsofthe
Note on Research Methods

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About the author (2012)

John B. Thompson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge.

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