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 profound and turbulent change brought about in part by the digital revolution. What is the role of the book in an age preoccupied with computers and the internet? How has the book publishing industry been transformed by the economic and technological upheavals of recent years, and how is it likely to change in the future?

This is the first major study of the book publishing industry in Britain and the United States for more than two decades. Thompson focuses on academic and higher education publishing and analyses the evolution of these sectors from 1980 to the present. He shows that each sector is characterized by its own distinctive ‘logic’ or dynamic of change, and that by reconstructing this logic we can understand the problems, challenges and opportunities faced by publishing firms today. He also shows that the digital revolution has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on the book publishing business, although the real impact of this revolution has little to do with the ebook scenarios imagined by many commentators.

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