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Inside Book Publishing | Reviews

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Inside Book Publishing 3rd Edition – Giles Clark
Routledge, Paperback 264 pages

 

 

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'his teaching background shows in this clear, detailed and extremely knowledgeable guide to the business of book publishing.

 

 

The very last section considers career paths in publishing and will be extremely useful for anyone contemplating working in publishing or trying to figure out how to get into it.

 

 

Inside Book Publishing provides an excellent introduction to anyone with a professional interest in publishing.

 

 

 

'No writer equipped with this book need ever feel like an ignorant outsider again.'

The author is Deputy Manager of the Copublishing Department at the Open University and his teaching background shows in this clear, detailed and extremely knowledgeable guide to the business of book publishing. This is the third edition and provides an up-to-date picture, covering the many changes currently taking place in publishing.

First, he gives a short history of how book publishers have evolved from family houses to international media corporations, dealing separately with general (or trade) and other types of book publishing. He goes on to describe the different sectors of publishing, how they respond to their own markets and have become quite different businesses.

Next he starts at the beginning of the publishing process with the signing of the author contract and describes, with a great deal of useful detail, how each book goes through the various stages until it reaches the bookshop shelf. This section covers copyright, contracts, authors’ agents, the impact of the Internet and book packagers.

His next chapter looks at the process and the people, giving a clear picture of the function of each department and how they work together. His explanations of what the different departments - design, production, rights, sales and so on - do are illuminating and put everything into context.

Finally he looks at the business of publishing, how books are costed and the considerations which have to be taken into account to run a successful publishing company. If you want to know about the business aspects of publishing, this short section provides a clear description. As he says: ‘Successful publishing is founded on contracting good books that sell and each new book is a business in its own right contributing or not contributing to the business as a whole… The decision to take on a new book is the crux of the whole enterprise.’ This chapter provides the inside story of publishing as a business and makes it easier to understand what is going on inside your publisher.

The very last section considers career paths in publishing and will be extremely useful for anyone contemplating working in publishing or trying to figure out how to get into it.

Inside Book Publishing provides an excellent introduction to anyone with a professional interest in publishing. It is the most clear and specific guide to publishing I have ever read. Although it focuses on British publishing for its examples, any reader would get a good grounding in what publishing is all about, with a lot of useful detail about every aspect of the business. It provides a comprehensive overview and answers so many questions about why publishing works the way it does. No writer equipped with this book need ever feel like an ignorant outsider again.

Reviewed by Chris HolifieldChris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage.

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List price: £19.99
Publisher: Routledge
2000-10-26
Paperback
Sales rank: 788,467


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