The Culture and Commerce of Publishing in the 21st Century

Albert N Greco; Clara E Rodriguez; Robert M Wharton
Stanford University Press

Is publishing a cultural or commercial endeavor? Drawing on extensive data sets and applying the theoretical tools of both sociology and economics, The Culture and Commerce of Publishing in the 21st Century.

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is the definitive social and economic analysis of the current state and future trends of the industry. This book examines the substantive issues, challenges, and problems confronting the diverse, and in many ways fragile, book publishing industry in the United States. The authors specifically emphasize the consumer, college textbook, and scholarly publishing components of the U.S. book publishing industry as they analyze the cultural and economic structure of the book publishing industry in the twenty-first century. The book begins by charting the changes in the book publishing industry between 1945 and 2005, then goes on to examine industry specifics, strategies being employed for domestic and global competitiveness, and the economics of publishing and the impact of technology. Through in-person interviews and a broad sampling of people from every sector of the industry it examine the demographic trends in play. The temperature of the current publishing culture is presented in a chapter titled "I'm Glad I'm Not An Author . . ." The book ends by looking forward, highlighting the trends likely to impact the growth of the industry in the future. Throughout the book, the tables provided track the industry from 1945 until 2005, and give the reader a snapshot of the data year-by-year, and category by category: bestsellers, average book prices, U.S. bookstore sales, average sales by category, and the demographic breakdown of readers. It also provides forecasts for the coming years, both units and revenues, for 2005-2009. The thoughtful analysis presented in this book will be valuable to leaders in publishing as well as the scholars and analysts who study this industry.