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Chapter 7: The Book Industry

by: Deja Jackson

Chapter 7: The Book Industry Comm 130

Marketplace > University of Pennsylvania > Communication > Comm 130 > Chapter 7 The Book Industry
Deja Jackson

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About this Document

Includes book and lecture notes, excludes the historic section (see Chapter 7-9 Historical Notes)
Mass Media and Society
Joseph Turow
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Deja Jackson on Saturday March 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Comm 130 at University of Pennsylvania taught by Joseph Turow in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Mass Media and Society in Communication at University of Pennsylvania.


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Date Created: 03/12/16
The Book Industry 03/12/2016 ▯ The Book Industry Today ▯ Educational and Professional Books  Marked by pedagogy: the use of features such as learning chapter objectives, chapter recaps, and questions for discussions  Audiobooks one of the few that can include professional and educational as well as consumer books  Three types of educational and training books i. K-12: books and materials created for students in kindergarten through the 12 grade ii. Higher-education: focus on teaching students in college and post- college learning iii. Professional: books that help people who are working to keep up-t- date in their areas as well as rise to the next level of knowledge ▯ Consumer Books: aimed at the general public; target reader in their private lives, outside their roles as students and as highly trained workers; informal teaching (ex. religion, science, cooking, history, ethics)  Trade Books: general interest titles, including both fiction and nonfiction books, that are typically sold to consumers through retail bookstores and to libraries o Distinguished between hard bound and paperbacks  Mass Market Paperbacks Books: smaller, pocket-size paperback books o Designed to be sold in mass market outlets: venues including newsstands, drugstores, discount stores and supermarkets o Most common are romance novels and scifi tales  Religious Books: trade books that contain specifically religious content  Scholarly Books: titles published by scholarly societies, commercial publishers and university presses for those involved in primary research in academic, corporate or government settings o Typically non profit for university and college divisions o Rising costs of electronic databases and journals has forced many university presses to reduce output  Book clubs & mail-order books: ship titles directly to the consumer; main difference is that mail-order publishers create new books, whereas book clubs sell existing titles o Book clubs: organizations through which individuals who have joined can select books from the clubs catalog and purchase them through the mail or via the club’s website often at a discounted price o Mail-order: books that are advertised on TV or in promotional mailings that can be ordered directly from the publisher and are shipped to the consumer’s home  Subscription reference books: titles such as “great books” series, dictionaries, atlases, and sets of encyclopedias that are marked by their publishers to consumers on a door-to-door or direct-mail basis o Sales only make up a tiny 0.1% of book industry sales due to the rise of internet references ▯ ▯ Publishers and Imprints  Imprints: a name or brand that the publisher places on the bottom of a book’s spine as well as on the main title page; signifies a publishing firm or one of its divisions  6 Largest Publishers: 1. Random House: largest English trade publisher in the world; Random House Publishing Group, Crown Publishing Group, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2. Simon & Shuster: owned by CBS Corporation; imprints include Pocket, Free Press, Scribner 3. Penguin Group: second-largest trade publisher in the world; imprints include Penguin, NAL, Ace Books 4. Hachette Book Group, USA 5. HarperCollins: imprints include Zondervan, HarperTeen, Walden Pond Press 6. Macmillan: collection of trade and scholarly publishers; imprints St. Martin’s Press, Henry Holt, Farrar Straus & Giroux  Book producing is often inexpensive, but these 6 companies dominate parts of the industry because the physical creation of the book can be very expensive (printing press, binding machine)  Publishers contract out these services and composition services: the work involved in inserting into a manuscript the codes and conventions that tell the page-making program or the printing press how the material should look on the page ▯ ▯ Production Processes ▯ Trade Publishing 1. Acquisitions editor recruits and signs new authors and titles for the company’s list of books; most difficult part of the process i. Look to find books of best seller and blockbuster potential ii. Literary agents help out as they market the client’s manuscripts to editors, publishers and other buyers based on knowledge of the target market and the specific content of the manuscript 2. A contract is drawn up that promises payments to the author in the form of flat fees or royalties: shares of a book’s sales income that are paid to an author, usually based on the number of copies sold. 3. Once OK’d by the publication board, the manuscript is read and edited by a developmental editor 4. Production editor arranges all of the technical aspects of the book (copyediting, design, pagination) ▯ University Press Production 1. Editors at scholarly presses try to get manuscripts by well-known professors from well-known universities OR young professors on their way up the academic ladder i. Get help through consultants: well-known academics that have a reputation for being able to spot innovative new work in their field that their colleagues are likely to appreciate 2. Usually publicize their books at academic conferences and by mail 3. Academic associations rent space at the conventions to booksellers 4. Marketing departments and salespeople set out titles that they think those attending the convention will like and brochures are sent with descriptions of the author and topic i. A “hit” means selling several thousand companies ▯ Book Production in the Electronic Age  E-books have soared due to the release of various tablets like Nook, iPad, Sony Reader, and Kindle ▯ Reducing the Risks of Failure During the Production Process  Conducting prepublication research: research conducted in order to gauge a title’s chances of success with its likely audience o Editors meet with people who are representing their audience and ask them questions about the book being developed o Scholarly editors often pay professors to read the manuscript and comment on its prospects for success o Seeing how previous books on a topic sold  Making use of authors with positive track records: the previous successes of a product, person or organization o Authors who garner large advances and are successful in sales are those with the following characteristics:  Previously hugely successful (e.g. Stephen King) controversial (e.g. former presidential candidate)  Well known outside of book publishing (eg. Madonna)  Offering authors advances on royalties: a payment of money before the book is published based on what the publisher anticipates the author will earn from royalties on the book o Used to lure author stars ▯ Distribution Processes ▯ The Role of Wholesalers in the Distribution Process ▯ *publishing executives must be realistic of the print run: number of copies printed 1. A wholesaler purchase copies of a book from a publisher at a discounted price 2. The wholesaler sells those copies to a retailer (exhibitor) at a lesser discount than it received from the publisher 3. If the exhibitor can’t sell all of the books it had bought from the wholesaler, it may return them and demand a refund from wholesaler 4. If the wholesalers can’t find another exhibitor to sell the returned books to, it may return them to the publisher for credit towards other titles ▯ Assessing a Title’s Popularity Through 3 Indicators 1. The size of the print run: signals how popular a publisher expects a book to be i. Imprints telegraph expected sales; distributors are more likely to stock up on a title with a more popular imprint 2. The content of reviews 3. The scope of the marketing plan i. Book tour: a series of appearances that an author make in various cities in order to promote a title and stimulate sales ▯ Exhibition Processes ▯ *the online presence, along with the growth of electronic publishing, is changing exhibition in the book industry ▯ Consumer Books  Brick-and-mortar stores: stores that have a physical presence in the offline world o Struggling now that the internet is selling more books than ever o Cannot compete on price with online retailers (e.g Amazon) o Often used for window shopping now, then consumers will buy what they see online ▯ Textbook Publishing  School board decisions can influence whether a textbook publisher has a chance of selling thousands of copies  College textbook publishers often send professors new copies of textbooks hoping they will require their students to buy them  New editions of textbooks keep textbook publishers in business  Digital revolution has caused some districts to use digital versions of textbooks on iPads, etc. ▯ ▯ Convergence and Conglomeration in the Book Industry  Boundary blurring due to popular reader technologies like Kindle and Nook  Mass media executives today increasingly believe that to reach their target audience, they must pursue audiences across multiple media boundaries o Expectations of more presold titles: a book that publishers expect will sell well to specific audiences because it ties into material that is already popular with those audiences across other media ▯ ▯ Ethical Issues in Book Production  Plagiarism: using pats of another person’s work without citing or otherwise crediting the original author  Making up facts: swirls around nonfiction authors  For editors and literary agents, taking a person’s idea for a book and paying someone else to write it ▯ ▯ Key Words: ▯ Audiobooks: a recording in which someone reads a printed book or a version of it ▯ ▯ Trade paperbacks: standard-size books that have flexible dovers ▯ ▯ Best seller: a title that sells more than 75,000 hardcover copies or 100,000 paperback copies ▯ ▯ Blockbuster: a book that sells well over 100,000 hardcover copies


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