Five words from the blurb: publishing, world, marketing, books, money
Merchants of Culture provides detailed information about the publishing industry in Great Britain and America. By interviewing professionals and studying sales statistics John Thompson provides a comprehensive analysis of the changes in the industry over the last hundred years.
This book isn’t an easy read – it is a text book packed with technical information and detailed statistical analysis. Some sections fascinated me, but others were explained in far too much depth for the casual reader.
Before I began blogging I knew nothing about the publishing industry, but over the years I’ve come to realise what a complex, high risk business it is. This book explains every aspect of the industry: from the way agents and scouts discover authors, and the types of deals they secure; right through to the changing way books are sold in book shops and on the Internet.
The publishing industry works in a very different way to other retail sectors and I was surprised by some of the statistics:
I also found the impact of film releases and TV appearances surprisingly large:
The only problem with this book is that it is going out of date fast. It was only published in 2010, but I already found that much of the information on digital publishing was out-of-date.
I think this book is a must read for anyone who works in the publishing industry and authors could also benefit from learning more about rights and marketing issues before they sign a contract with a publisher. Anyone else with an interest in the publishing industry will find a lot of interesting facts, but be aware that you may have to wade through a lot of technical detail to find it.
Many thanks to Litlove for drawing this book to my attention.