By John B. Thompson

The booklet publishing goes via a interval of profound and turbulent switch caused partly by means of the electronic revolution. what's the function of the ebook in an age preoccupied with desktops and the net? How has the booklet publishing been reworked through the commercial and technological upheavals of contemporary years, and the way is it prone to swap sooner or later?

This is the 1st significant learn of the publication publishing in Britain and the us for greater than 20 years. Thompson makes a speciality of educational and better schooling publishing and analyses the evolution of those sectors from 1980 to the current. He exhibits that every zone is characterised through its personal precise ‘logic’ or dynamic of switch, and that via reconstructing this good judgment we will be able to comprehend the issues, demanding situations and possibilities confronted by way of publishing agencies at the present time. He additionally indicates that the electronic revolution has had, and maintains to have, a profound influence at the ebook publishing company, even supposing the true influence of this revolution has little to do with the e-book eventualities imagined through many commentators.

Books within the electronic Age turns into a typical paintings at the publishing at first of the twenty first century. will probably be of serious curiosity to scholars taking classes within the sociology of tradition, media and cultural reports, and publishing. it is going to even be of serious price to execs within the publishing undefined, educators and coverage makers, and to somebody attracted to books and their future.

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They deserve much of the credit for what follows, although I alone accept responsibility for any errors that remain. J. B. , Cambridge Introduction For more than five hundred years, books have been a key feature of modern culture and one of the foundations on which education and academic life are based. It is difficult to imagine what Western culture would be, or indeed the culture of any major civilization anywhere in the world today, without the wealth of resources that are preserved, disseminated and handed down from one generation to the next in the form of the book.

6 See, for example, Elizabeth L. : Harvard University Press, 1979); Roger Chartier, The Order of Books: Readers, Authors and Libraries in Europe between the Fourteenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Polity, 1993); Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). 7 Publishing in the Knowledge Economy, pp. 3–4. 8 Lewis A. Coser, Charles Kadushin and Walter W. Powell, Books: The Culture and Commerce of Publishing (New York: Basic Books, 1982).

I. ) Schiffrin went on to found a small independent publishing house called The New Press in 1990. In The Business of Books Schiffrin offers a critical, impassioned reflection on what has happened to publishing in the age of conglomerates – an age, argues Schiffrin, when the judgement of editors has been increasingly displaced by the profit-oriented priorities of accountants and shareholders and when intellectual quality and literary merit have been sacrificed on the altar of the market. ‘Books today’, writes Schiffrin, ‘have become mere adjuncts to the world of the mass media, offering light entertainment and reassurances that all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds.

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