Consuming Books: The Marketing and Consumption of Literature, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Consuming Books

The Marketing and Consumption of Literature, 1st Edition

Edited by Stephen Brown


218 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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The buying, selling, and writing of books is a colossal industry in which marketing looms large, yet there are very few books which deal with book marketing (how-to texts excepted) and fewer still on book consumption. This innovative text not only rectifies this, but also argues that far from being detached, the book business in fact epitomises today’s Entertainment Economy (fast moving, hit driven, intense competition, rapid technological change, etc.).

Written by an impressive roster of renowned marketing authorities, many with experience of the book trade and all gifted writers in their own right, Consuming Books steps back from the practicalities of book marketing and takes a look at the industry from a broader consumer research perspective. Consisting of sixteen chapters, divided into four loose sections, this key text covers:

* a historical overview

* the often acrimonious marketing/literature interface

* the consumers of books (from book groups to bookcrossing)

* a consideration of the tensions that both literary types and marketers feel.

With something for everyone, Consuming Books not only complements the ‘how-to’ genre but provides the depth that previous studies of book consumption conspicuously lack.


'A book that all marketing scholars and practitioners, especially those interested in interpretive research or are bibliophiles themselves should read and definitely will enjoy.' - Mark Tadajewski, European Journal of Marketing

Table of Contents

Preface: Beanz Meanz Bookz

1. Rattles From the Swill Bucket (Stephen Brown)

2. Selling God’s Book (Russell Belk)

3. The Extraordinary Tale of an Eight Point Eight Million Dollar Book (Michael Thomas)

4. The Pleasures of the Used Text: Revealing Traces of Consumption (Janet L. Borgerson & Jonathan E. Schroeder)

5. Culture Club: Marketing & Consuming The Da Vinci Code (Kent Drummond)

6. Martin Amis on Marketing (Daragh O’Reilly)

7. Paperback Mother (Lisa O’Malley, Maurice Patterson & Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin)

8. On the Commercial Exaltation of Artistic Mediocrity: Books, Bread, Postmodern Statistics, Surprising Success Stories, & the Doomed Magnificence of Way Too Many Big Words (Morris B. Holbrook)

9. Book Reading Groups: A ‘Male Outsider’ Perspective (Avi Shankar)

10. You Can’t Tell a Book by Its Cover: Bookworms, Bookcases & Bookcrossing (Pauline Maclaran & Rosalind Masterson)

11. Consuming Literature (Hope Jensen Schau)

12. Riddikulus! Consumer Reflections on the Harry Potter Phenomenon (Al Terego & Sue Denim)

13. Telling Tales of Virago Press (Lorna Stevens)

14. No Experience Necessary (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love Marketing) (Charles Chandler)

15. I Write Marketing Textbooks But Really I’m a Swill Guy (Chris Hackley)

16. A Step-by-Step Guide to Bridget Jones’s Diary, Fight Club, & the ‘How-to’ Industry (Anthony Patterson & Stephen Brown)

About the Editor

Stephen Brown is Professor of Marketing Research at the University of Ulster. Best known for Postmodern Marketing, he has published numerous books including Free Gift Inside and Wizard. His papers have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research and many more.

About the Series

Routledge Interpretive Marketing Research

Recent years have witnessed an ‘interpretive turn’ in marketing and consumer research. Methodologies from the humanities are taking their place alongside those drawn from the traditional social sciences. Qualitative and literary modes of marketing discourse are growing in popularity. Art and aesthetics are increasingly firing the marketing imagination. This series brings together the most innovative work in the burgeoning interpretive marketing research tradition. It ranges across the methodological spectrum from grounded theory to personal introspection, covering all aspects of the postmodern marketing ‘mix’, from advertising to product development, and embracing marketing’s principal sub-disciplines.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Marketing / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Marketing / Research