1st Edition

Contemporary Publishing and the Culture of Books

    346 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    346 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Contemporary Publishing and the Culture of Books is a comprehensive resource that builds bridges between the traditional focus and methodologies of literary studies and the actualities of modern and contemporary literature, including the realities of professional writing, the conventions and practicalities of the publishing world, and its connections between literary publishing and other media. Focusing on the relationship between modern literature and the publishing industry, the volume enables students and academics to extend the text-based framework of modules on contemporary writing into detailed expositions of the culture and industry which bring these texts into existence; it brings economic considerations into line alongside creative issues, and examines how employing marketing strategies are utilized to promote and sell books.

    Sections cover:

    • The standard university-course specifications of contemporary writing, offering an extensive picture of the social, economic, and cultural contexts of these literary genres
    • The impact and status of non-literary writing, and how this compares with certain literary genres as an index to contemporary culture and a reflection of the state of the publishing industry
    • The practicalities and conventions of the publishing industry
    • Contextual aspects of literary culture and the book industry, visiting the broader spheres of publishing, promotion, bookselling, and literary culture

    Carefully linked chapters allow readers to tie key elements of the publishing industry to the particular demands and features of contemporary literary genres and writing, offering a detailed guide to the ways in which the three core areas of culture, economics, and pragmatics intersect in the world of publishing.

    Further to being a valuable resource for those studying English or Creative Writing, the volume is a key text for degrees in which Publishing is a component, and is relevant to those aspects of Media Studies that look at interactions between the media and literature/publishing.

    Introduction Alison Baverstock  1. The structure and workings of a publishing house David Barker  2. Types of publishing houses Per Henningsgaard  3. UK Reading culture Alison Lawson  4. Sunk treasure: Can the traditional public library service survive in contemporary Britain? Ellie Bowker and Clare Somerville  5. How can shared reading create a community? Alison Baverstock  6. The review and the reviewer Claire Squires  7. Life writing and biography in contemporary publishing Robert Fraser  8. Creative Writing courses and the pragmatics of publishing Lyle Skains  9. The modern literary agent Angus Phillips  10. The non-mainstream: Independents, self-Publishing, eBooks, blogging, the on-line culture of books Caroline Harris  11. Parallels between fiction and food Writing Amy Burns 12. The history and influence of travel writing Peter Bolan   13. Understanding our place. Publishing’s role in the reading ecosystem under neoliberal economics Jasmin Kirkbride  14. How audiobooks have become standard format for general publishers alongside hardback, paperback and e-book Nicholas Jones  15. French children’s literature and autism: A case for more children’s books on autism and for autistic children Lucie Ducarre  16. Interviewing the women of Virago: Using oral history to uncover the story of the feminist publishing house Eleanor Birne



    Alison Baverstock is Professor of Publishing within the Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, UK.

    Richard Bradford is Professor of English and Senior Distinguished Research Fellow at the University of Ulster, Ireland.

    Madelena Gonzalez is Professor of English Literature at Avignon University, France.