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Principles and Practice

September 2011 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

At last, a readable, authoritative and comprehensive book for students, readers and practitioners in print and digital publishing. Publishing guides the reader through the history of publishing and the main issues facing the industry today. Among these are legal conundrums, cultural conflicts, trade practices, publishing within and across sectors, editorial requirements, the challenge of electronic publishing, making your ideas count in print, rationalization and the growth of corporate publishing cultures.

The result is an exciting one stop guide, written with flair and aplomb. Packed with helpful real-world examples and illustrative interviews this practical resource leaves no stone of the publishing industry unturned.

Chapter 1: A History of Books
The First Paradigm: From Vellum Codex to Print Book

1475-1533: The Early English Trade

1533-1694: Age of Control

1694-1774: Rise of 'The Publisher'

1774-1935: Era of the Publishing Firm

1935-1970: The Paperback Revolution

1965-Now: Conglomerate Publishing

Chapter 2: The Publishing Process
The Value Chain

The Editor's Task

The Production Process

Architecture of the Book

Printing, Paper & Bookbinding

Budgeting a Book

Author-House Relations




Chapter 3: Sectors in the Anglophone Model
Consumer or Trade Books

Academic, Scholarly or Higher Education Publishing

Professional and Journal Publishing


English Language Training


Children's Books


Leading Revenues by Sector (U.S., UK, Europe & Japan) in 2009

Chapter 4: Craft to Corporation

The Business of Publishing

The Corporatisation of Books

Corporate Strategies

The Mechanics of Mergers

The Rise of the Big Five Trade Publishers

The Twenty-First Century

Chapter 5: Copyright and Publishing Law
The Statute of Anne

Timeline of Copyright and Intellectual Property Law

Copyright Today

Defamation and Libel

Seditious Libel

Malicious Falsehood


Libel & Libel Tourism

Copyright Infringement

Moral Right and Integrity

Digital Law

Fair Use and First Sale in the Digital Age

Chapter 6: Rights and Contracts
Book Club Rights

Paperback Rights

Translation Rights

Serial Rights

Territorial Rights

Other Anglophone Markets

Publishing Contracts

Contract Clauses

Subsidiary Rights in Contracts

Chapter 7: Marketing, Promotion and Bookselling
The Marketing Jigsaw

Sales Timeline & Techniques

The Blurb

Business to Consumer (B2C)

Prizes and Sales

Bookselling Practice

How and Why Books Sell

Discounts, Sale and Return

Chapter 8: The Era of Digital Publishing
The Internet

Open Source Culture

Social Networking

Broadcasting v. Networking

Media Regulation


Guerilla Marketing

Piracy & Digital Music

Print on Demand (POD)

Google Books



This is an indispensable and highly-readable study of the publishing industry past, present and future. For students and professionals in publishing it provides an authoritative, up-to-date and reliable account of their complex and rapidly changing industry. For those interested more broadly in the role the creative industries play in the modern world this is a fine introduction. It is to be highly recommended.

Iain Stevenson
Director, UCL Centre for Publishing

Written for anyone wishing to learn about the Anglophone publishing industry, this text fills a long-standing gap in the market. It covers each of the publishing functions, as well as the processes associated with creating and disseminating print and digital products... Guthrie's text is an industry overview for professionals, but is scholorly enough to make it an ideal student textbook.

Penelope Woolf
Editorial Director, Oxford University Press and Honorary Lecturer, University College London

Absolutely first rate. I wish I'd had a text like this in front of me when I started Black Sparrow in 1966! Everything is organized and laid out in the most helpful way. I shake my head when I realize I had to discover how to publish books, the hard way, through trial and error. Publishing is a remarkable achievement.

John Martin
founder of Black Sparrow Press

'This is a very concise and easy to understand summary of the publishing industry. The book covers all the different stages that go into publishing a book, from acquisitions to marketing. Guthrie even has sections on the history of the book industry from the beginning, leading to the ebook craze. Guthrie manages to be honest about the different arguments, and gives a very good look at both sides of every argument. For anyone remotely curious about the nuts and bolts of the industry, this book is probably what you are looking for.' Review

'Guthrie’s book provides a comprehensive guide to publishing issues some other sources skim over. Subjects such as possible cultural conflicts and varying trade practices are explored accessibly but authoritatively. While Guthrie writes about both publishing and self-publishing, Publishing: Principles and Practice is laid out for maximum usability, allowing readers to search out relevant passages with ease. Guthrie writes in a welcoming, almost casual style mixing in interviews and real world examples to illustrate his assertions and stop things stagnating.' Review

Provides the reader with a detailed account of all aspects of the publishing process with excellent and vivid examples.

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies

Fantastic textbook. Clear and plain speaking. Excellent coverage and shifts between basic and complex material quickly.

Professor Joe Cain
Science & Technology Studies, University College London
August 21, 2017

Great book, ideal for our MA in Publishing.

Dr Leah Tether
Department of English & Media, Anglia Ruskin University
June 29, 2012

This is a very welcome book! Excellently written, with lots of the key details new students of publishing need to know!

Dr Samantha Rayner
Dept English, Film, Communication and Media, Anglia Ruskin University
October 19, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Richard Guthrie

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781847870155
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