Cover of The Culture and Commerce of Publishing in the 21st Century by Albert N. Greco, Clara E. Rodriguez, and Robert M. Wharton
The Culture and Commerce of Publishing in the 21st Century
Albert N. Greco, Clara E. Rodriguez, and Robert M. Wharton

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2006
280 pages.
$72.50

Cloth ISBN: 9780804750318

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Winner of the 2007 Book Award (Professional Studies), sponsored by the Alpha Sigma Nu and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

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 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.

About the author

Albert N. Greco is Professor of Marketing at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business Education, specializing in the book publishing industry. Clara E. Rodriguez is Professor of Sociology at Fordham University. Robert M. Wharton is Professor and Chair of the Management Systems Area at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business Administration.

"Publishing has always played a substantive role in the dissemination of information. Thanks to The Culture and Commerce of Publishing in the 21st Century, we finally have a valuable introduction to the U.S. book publishing industry in our contemporary times. Greco has a reputation for raising tough questions and then carefully analyzing an enormous amount of data to clearly answer those questions. This book will not disappoint; it's an impressive achievement, and even with my 30 years in the industry, I learned a great deal."

—Tom Radko, Editor, Journal of Scholarly Publishing

"This book is a great resource for anyone trying to understand how the book industry works."

—Jim Milliot, Director of Business and News, Publishers Weekly

"This thorough and engrossing book explains everything about the book business in a way that will satisfy "insiders" and "civilians" alike. Greco, Rodríguez, and Wharton explain how corporate takeovers, changing habits, and a "bottom-line" mentality have influenced the way we make books—and buy them. Comprehensive and full of facts, The Culture and Commerce of Publishing in the 21st Century examines the power of publishing, and does its math. Anybody who has ever bought a book should now buy this one."

—Sara Nelson, Editor-in-Chief, Publishers Weekly