Books in the Digital Age: The Transformation of Academic and Higher Education Publishing in Britain and the United States

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Polity, Mar 25, 2005 - Business & Economics - 468 pages
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The book publishing industry is going through a period of profoundand turbulent change brought about in part by the digitalrevolution. What is the role of the book in an age preoccupied withcomputers and the internet? How has the book publishing industrybeen transformed by the economic and technological upheavals ofrecent years, and how is it likely to change in the future?

This is the first major study of the book publishing industry inBritain and the United States for more than two decades. Thompsonfocuses on academic and higher education publishing and analysesthe evolution of these sectors from 1980 to the present. He showsthat each sector is characterized by its own distinctive‘logic’ or dynamic of change, and that byreconstructing this logic we can understand the problems,challenges and opportunities faced by publishing firms today. Healso shows that the digital revolution has had, and continues tohave, a profound impact on the book publishing business, althoughthe real impact of this revolution has little to do with the ebookscenarios imagined by many commentators.

Books in the Digital Age will become a standard work on thepublishing industry at the beginning of the 21st century. It willbe of great interest to students taking courses in the sociology ofculture, media and cultural studies, and publishing. It will alsobe of great value to professionals in the publishing industry,educators and policy makers, and to anyone interested in books andtheir future.

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About the author (2005)

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

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