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Publishing Industry

PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

PUBLISHING INDUSTRY. Book publishing in the United States grew from a single printing press imported from England in 1638 to an industry boasting more than 2,600 publishing houses and generating nearly $25 billion a year in revenue in 2000. The country's most famous publishing houses, some of which date back to the 1800s, have been transformed from private, family-owned companies to multinational media conglomerates. With the advent of the World Wide Webin the 1990s and other advances in electronic publishing technology, the industry is at the cutting edge of the electronic revolution that is transforming the American economy.

Publishing in Early America

In 1638 a printing press was imported to Cambridge, Massachusetts, from England. Two years later Stephen Daye (also spelled Day) used that press to print the first English-language book in America, The Whole Booke of Psalmes, also known as the Bay Psalm Book. This printing press issued many other religious works, including John Eliot's Indian Bible, a 1663 translation of the Scriptures into the Algonquin language. The Boston-Cambridge area has remained a center of publishing since these colonial beginnings.

Philadelphia is another publishing center with origins dating to the colonial period. William Bradford, who had come to Pennsylvania with William Penn, established a press in Philadelphia in 1685. Five years later he built the first paper mill in the colonies on the city's outskirts. Bradford moved to New York in 1693, but his descendants remained in Philadelphia where they were leading publishers until the nineteenth century. Philadelphia's bestknown publisher was Benjamin Franklin, who opened his print shop in 1728. In addition to the Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin published numerous books, including the Poor Richard's Almanack (1732–1757), which had impressive sales of 10,000 copies per year.

In 1744 Franklin began publishing popular English novels in the colonies. He was a pioneer in this area, and his three editions of Samuel Richardson's Pamela rapidly sold out. Just prior to the American Revolution, Isaiah Thomas of Worcester, Massachusetts, became the most successful publisher of European books in the colonies. Thomas printed such popular English works as Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and John Cleland's racy Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, better known as Fanny Hill.

Georgia was the last of the thirteen colonies to get a printing press, in 1762. The type of books published in the colonies varied by region: nearly half of the books printed on New England presses were religious titles, while more than half of the books published in the South dealt with law. During the colonial period, printers were often booksellers, selling books in their print shops. Some booksellers placed orders directly with printers.

The Rise of New York as the Publishing Capital

The nineteenth century set a pattern of trends in the publishing industry that would continue into following centuries. By 1850, New York City had surpassed Boston and Philadelphia to become the center of the publishing industry in the United States, a position that the city occupied into the twenty-first century. Such nineteenth-century New York publishers as Harper, Putnam, and Scribner were still important names in the industry in 2000. The 1840s saw the beginning of the royalty system, and international copyright protection enacted at the end of the century ensured authors payment of their royalties. The large publishing houses that made New York so prominent in the industry exercised so much influence throughout the county that they forced many of the local printers that flourished through the 1700s and early 1800s out of business. A similar scenario occurred in the late twentieth century, when large retailers placed many local bookshops out of business.

The first great New York City publishing house was Harper Bros., founded in 1817. By 1840 George Palmer Putnam, in partnership with John Wiley, had also established a publishing house in the city, and in 1846 Charles Scribner founded his publishing house in New York. Together, these three firms launched New York as the center of the U.S. book publishing industry. Like many of the city's manufacturers, these publishers took advantage of the Erie Canal, which opened markets in the West to New York in 1825. New York publishers offered better prices than local printers did, because they could reduce overhead costs by printing and shipping books in larger quantities. Many smaller printers could not compete with this competition from the large New York publishing houses.

Like many publishers of the 1800s, Harper Bros. took advantage of the lack of international copyright enforcement. The firm printed pirated copies of works by such British authors as Charles Dickens, William Make-peace Thackeray, and Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Brontë. Harper Bros.' best-selling pirated work by a British author was Thomas Babington Macaulay's History of England from the Accession of James II. The book sold approximately 400,000 copies, a figure that would classify it as a nonfiction bestseller at the turn of the twentieth century. Because international copyright laws were not enforced, U.S. publishers did not pay royalties to either the British authors or their publishers. The American market had grown to be so significant that, in 1842, Dickens traveled to the United States in an effort to secure royalties from the sale of his works. He was unsuccessful at recouping this money, but the trip did give Dickens the material for his book American Notes for General Circulation, which Harper Bros. promptly pirated.

The Constitution had granted the federal government authority to ensure that American writers and inventors were given exclusive rights to their work, and in 1790 Congress enacted legislation to advance domestic copyright protection afforded to U.S. authors. By the late nineteenth century, American authors had become sufficiently well known throughout the world that their works had significant sales abroad. To ensure that these American authors, as well as their publishers, received the royalties due them from sales outside the United States, Congress entered into the International Copyright Act of 1891. Although this secured American authors and publishers royalties from sales in other signatory countries, it also meant the end of U.S. publishers pirating works of foreign authors.

Until the mid-nineteenth century, most American authors published at their own expense. For example, Walt Whitman self-published and sold his 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass. However, a printer and bookseller might share costs with an author whose work appeared to have strong sales potential. When American publishers began to spend their own funds to print books, they generally paid authors no royalties until they had recovered the initial expense incurred in printing the book. George Palmer Putnam instituted the modern royalty system in 1846, offering authors 10 percent of a book's sale price for each copy sold.

The paperback was another innovation of the nineteenth-century book publishing industry. Although paperbound pamphlets and tracts had existed since the colonial era, the sales of paperbound novels exploded in the mid-1800s. In 1860, Erastus Beadle, a printer in Ostega County, New York, published A Dime Song Book, a paperbound collection of lyrics to popular songs. Sales of this book were so strong that in the same year Beadle published another 10-cent paperbound book, Maleska: The Indian Wife of the White Hunter by Anne S. W. Stephens. The book was an adventure novel, which became staples of the genre known as "dime novels." Whether a dime novel was a detective story, an adventure story, or an historical tale, it always featured an all-American hero who saved the day, triumphed over evil and vice, and was handsomely rewarded. Gilbert Patten created the hero figure Frank Merriwell, whose exploits helped sell 125 million copies of Patten's books. Although their literary merits were questioned, dime novels were a reading staple until the early 1910s, when pulp magazines and comic books surpassed them in popularity.

While readers of dime novels enjoyed wholesome tales, other readers of the mid-1800s indulged their tastes for the more salacious literature that had become a specialty of New York's publishers. Anthony Comstock, an anti-obscenity crusader and secretary of the New York Society for Suppression of Vice, led a successful campaign in 1870 that forced New York publishing houses to stop printing such racy fiction. Comstock, a special officer of the U.S. Postal Service, also succeeded in persuading Congress to pass the so-called Comstock laws that prohibited the postal service from carrying material deemed obscene. Comstock carried on his anti-obscenity campaign until his death in 1915, and he was so effective that New York publishers practiced self-censorship well into the twentieth century. Although the movement led by Comstock had as its goal the suppression of obscene publications, the entire literary and publishing community felt the effects of this censorship. George Bernard Shaw coined the term "Comstockery" for this form of censorship, and H. L. Mencken railed against Comstock and his movement for making it "positively dangerous to print certain ancient and essentially decent English words."

A New Generation in Publishing

The 1920s is generally acknowledged as the beginning of the Modern Age in American literature. In this decade, a new generation of American literary giants came to prominence. Their work was often too bold to be printed by the established New York publishers that still felt the censorial effects of Comstock and his campaigns. This new generation of writers required a new generation of publishers that would dare to champion new, modern American literature. The 1920s saw the founding of such important publishing houses as Simon and Schuster, Random House, Alfred A. Knopf, and Viking Press.

Although Random House would grow to be the largest and most successful publisher in the country, and would hold that position into the twenty-first century, Simon and Schuster introduced some important industry innovations with long-term consequences. In 1939 the firm reintroduced mass-market paperback books with its Pocket Book imprint. Paperbacks received further attention in the early 1950s from Doubleday: The publishing house followed the lead set by British publisher Penguin Books and reprinted literary classics in paperback under its Anchor Books imprint. This helped to remove the lowbrow stigma that had been associated with paperbacks since the days of the dime novel, and by the twenty-first century a wide range of books—from the Bible and other classics to professional references and textbooks—were available in paperback.

The Great Depression of the 1930s hit the book publishing industry as hard as it hit every other sector of the American economy. Booksellers at that time were mostly small local businesses, and to help them survive the economic hardships of the depression, Simon and Schuster invented a system allowing booksellers to return unsold copies of books for credit against future purchases. Other publishers quickly had to follow Simon and Schuster's lead, and the practice became the industry standard. At times booksellers have been able to use this system to their advantage to clear inventories or to "pay" for copies of new books by returning unsold copies. Publishers have adapted to the system of returns by adding costs of shipping, warehousing, and recycling returned copies into the price of books.

The 1920s also saw the establishment of book clubs as a new way to market books. The Book-of-the- Month-Club was the first, started in 1926, and was followed by the Literary Guild in 1927. By the 1970s, approximately 150 book clubs were in business, generating almost $250 million in sales, or 8 percent of the industry's revenue at that time. By the 1990s, though, book clubs were struggling to survive because of competition from national bookstore chains and Internet booksellers. At the turn of the twenty-first century, only a handful of book clubs were still in business.

Consolidation in the Industry

Beginning the 1960s, a major trend in publishing was the merging of houses, as well as the consolidation of retail sales outlets. One of the first mergers to occur was Random House's purchase of Alfred A. Knopf in 1960. In 1965 RCA acquired Random House for $40 million and added it to RCA's roster of media companies, which included NBC Radio and Television. In 1980, Random House was acquired by Advanced Communications and became part of the New house family's media empire. During this time a number of publishers, including Crown, Fawcett, and Ballatine, were merged with Random House. In 1998 Random House was acquired by Bertelsmann AG, a German-based media conglomerate that, at the time of Random House's purchase, already owned the Bantam Doubleday Dell Group.

Simon and Schuster was acquired by Gulf + Western in 1975. From 1984 to 1994, the company acquired more than sixty companies, including Prentice-Hall, Silver Burdett, and Macmillan Publishing Company. With the addition of these educational, professional, and reference imprints, Simon and Schuster's revenue grew from $200 million in 1983 to more than $2 billion in 1997. In 1989, the Gulf + Western corporation restructured and emerged as Paramount Communications. In 1994, shortly after the purchase of Macmillan, Paramount was bought by Viacom Inc., which also owned MTV. In 1998 the company sold its education, professional, and reference units to Pearson PLC, which later merged with Longman.

This mass consolidation has made unlikely partners out of former competitors. For example, Prentice-Hall and Addison Wesley, which were rivals in the textbook and professional book markets, are owned by the same parent company, Longman-Pearson (which also owns Viking, Penguin, Putnam and Dutton). Consolidation has allowed a handful of major publishing conglomerates to dominate the industry. These include Bertelsmann, Viacom, Longman-Pearson, News Corporation, and Germany's Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck.

Consolidation was part of an overall economic trend of the late 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. Book publishers were also forced to consolidate because of the consolidation of retail outlets. Traditionally, booksellers were small, locally owned businesses. They were able to make a profit by maintaining low overhead costs such as rent. These booksellers usually stocked extensive inventories of books published in previous years (known in the industry as backlist titles). However, when shopping malls began to attract people in the 1960s and 1970s, many bookstores could not follow their customers, as rents in the malls were higher and retail space was at a premium.

In the 1970s, national chain bookstores such as Barnes and Noble and Waldenbooks began to open retail outlets in malls across the country. By buying in volume, chains could earn more profit on each copy of a book sold, allowing them to pay higher rents. Buying in volume also meant that they could negotiate deeper discounts from publishers. By passing this discount on to book buyers, the chains were able to attract customers away from the smaller independent bookstores.

Because the chains first opened stores in malls where retail space is at a premium, they could not carry an extensive inventory of backlist titles. This had a profound effect on publishers. Many publishers relied on backlist sales as a steady income stream that helped them weather years when newly printed titles (i.e., frontlist titles) did not sell as well as anticipated. As chains carried fewer and fewer backlist titles for sale, publishers were compelled to print ever-more successful frontlist titles. Thus, publishers had to cultivate a roster of authors whose books could almost always be counted on as instant bestsellers. In developing this roster, publishers had to pay premiums to attract and keep these authors. For example, in 1972, best-selling author Irving Wallace signed a contract with Bantam Books worth $2.5 million. At that time, Wallace's contract represented a little less than 0.1 percent of the entire industry's revenues. To be able to afford such a contract, a publisher like Bantam needed extensive financial resources; a lone publishing house may not have these resources, but a publishing conglomerate would.

During the 1980s and 1990s, chain booksellers changed their marketing tactics by creating what is known in the industry as the superstore. A prototype superstore was the original Borders Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This store carried a large backlist inventory and had a library-like atmosphere that encouraged browsing. When the store was bought by Waldenbooks, then owned by K Mart, Inc., the original Borders formula was basically replicated nationwide, but with more emphasis on frontlist titles and bestsellers. In 1989 Barnes and Noble bought Bookstop, a chain of supermarket-style bookstores, and made its entrance into superstore book retailing. During the 1990s, Barnes and Noble and Borders rapidly expanded the number of their superstores, combining the deeply discounted bestsellers that were staples of mall stores with the extensive inventory of backlist titles that was the trademark of traditional independent bookstores. This combination provided stiff competition that many independent bookstores could not match, and the chains became the dominant bookselling outlets. This allowed the chains to negotiate even greater discounts from publishers, which further increased market share and drove an even greater number of independent bookstores out of business.

As the chains continued to discount prices, the industry as a whole came to rely more heavily on the bestsellers that guaranteed high-volume sales and profits. Because of their popularity and the reliability with which they produced bestsellers, a handful of authors came to dominate the book publishing industry. Between 1986 and 1996, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Stephen King, Danielle Steel, and Dean Koontz wrote sixty-three of the one hundred bestselling books in the United States. J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, later joined this elite group of super-selling authors.

Electronic Publishing

Just as consolidation was transforming the book industry in the 1990s, the World Wide Web and new electronic publishing technology were rewriting the rules for book publishers and sellers. Online booksellers, such as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, have had a profound effect on the way publishers market and sell books. These online bookstores offer the selection, availability, and price discounts that had been the marketing strengths of the book clubs and mail-order booksellers that now struggle to compete with the online retailers.

In the mid-1990s, many predicted the demise of the printed book, arguing that books would be supplanted by CD-ROMs, online books, and other electronic book (or e-book) technology. Although the printed book continues to flourish, CD-ROMs and Web-based technology has transformed many aspects of the book publishing industry.

For example, reference books traditionally have been multi-volume sets written by a team of authors and editors that could spend several years in preparing a new edition. Because these references took so long to be produced, they often contained outdated information by the time they were printed. Although time is still required to gather, write, and edit new reference information, electronic publishing technology has dramatically reduced the time needed to produce an updated reference. Often updates are published on a Web site and can be downloaded by subscribers. Web-based and CD-ROM technology has also greatly improved the way reference information can be searched. By enabling sound, color images, and video to be incorporated into a reference, electronic publishing technology has also transformed the very nature of this type of publication.

Another innovation of electronic publishing is print-on-demand. This type of technology allows a publisher to print a single copy of a book at the request of a customer. Textbook publishers offer this technology to teachers, allowing them to create custom textbooks for specific courses electronically. Print-on-demand has also extended the amount of time a book is available for purchase. Traditionally, a publisher stopped printing new copies of a book and declared it "out of print" when sales dwindled to the point that the firm could no longer afford to print more copies. Print-on-demand, however, allows customers to have printed copies of a book whenever they want, and a publisher may never have to declare a book out-of-print. This technology was still a premium service at the beginning of the twenty-first century, but many observers of the publishing industry believed all bookstores would have print-on-demand services eventually, giving readers an almost endless choice of titles to purchase.

E-book technology allows readers to download books onto a variety of personal computing systems. Still in its infancy, this technology had the potential to restructure the entire publishing industry. In September 2001, Random House, Penguin Putnam, Harper Collins, and Simon and Schuster, all rival publishing houses, entered into a agreement to bypass established online booksellers and sell e-books directly on the Yahoo! Web site. Many industry experts took this arrangement, which allows publishers to sell books directly to customers, to be a harbinger of the future online technology will create for book publishing.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Epstein, Jason. Book Business: Publishing, Past, Present, and Future. New York: Norton, 2001.

Greco, Albert N. The Book Publishing Industry. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997.

Korda, Michael. Making the List: A Cultural History of the American Bestseller, 1900–1999. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2001.

Schiffrin, Andre. The Business of Books: How the International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read. London: Verso, 2001.

JohnWyzalek

See alsoLiterature ; Printing Industry .

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"Publishing Industry." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Publishing Industry." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/publishing-industry

Publishing Industry

PUBLISHING INDUSTRY


Book publishing began to flourish in the American colonies during the eighteenth century. Printing began in 1639 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and expanded geographically to Boston in 1674, Philadelphia in 1685, and New York City in 1693. Almanacs, primers, and law books were published; theology being the most popular subject. Books were sold in various ways: through subscription, by the printer, in the streets by hawkers, and in shops by booksellers. Hezekiah Usher, who added books to his general merchandise inventory around 1647, may have been the first American bookseller.

The availability of reading matter after 1650 contributed to the spread of literacy and an educated middle class. During the eighteenth century prose novels grew in popularity, while among those of modest means almanacs and chapbooks were more common. Benjamin Franklin's (17061790) Poor Richard's Almanack (sic), which contained a variety of information as well as religious and moral sayings, was published in Philadelphia in several editions from 1732 to 1764. Chapbooks typically contained a popular story illustrated with woodcuts.

In 1800 the Library of Congress was established. The growth of book publishing led to the establishment of commercial lending libraries in the eighteenth century and, in the nineteenth century, free public libraries. The nineteenth century marked a new era in book publishing brought on by technological innovations that significantly reduced the cost of printing and publishing books. These innovations included stereotyping, the iron press, steam power, mechanical typecasting and typesetting, and new methods of reproducing illustrations. Paper and bindings became less expensive. After 1820 cloth cases began replacing leather bindings, and publishers that had previously issued their works unbound began to publish them already bound.

The nineteenth century book trade was marked by expansion and competition, both in Europe and in the United States. Populations were rapidly growing, communications were improving, and there was a strong desire both for self-improvement and for entertainment, all of which contributed to a strong book trade. In the United States publishing gradually became concentrated in a few major cities: Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City. In addition to publishing American authors such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, U.S. publishers competed fiercely to publish reprint editions of British works by Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Macaulay, and others. U.S. publishers would wait at the dockside for a new British title and have a reprint edition ready within hours. Many of these editions were pirated, with no royalties paid to the authors.


Comprehensive catalogs of books began as early as the book fairs held in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1564, and in Leipzig, Germany, in 1594. During the nineteenth century several such lists were published in England and France and became national lists, with the first U.S. Cumulative Book List appearing in 1898.

Many small publishing houses were started in the United States in the 1890s and in the early part of the twentieth century. Start-up costs were low, and it was relatively inexpensive to publish an edition of 1,000 copies of a new book. Public education created a need for textbooks, and publishers began to specialize. In 1912 the Authors' League was formed in the United States to help standardize relations between authors and publishers, especially regarding contracts and the payment of royalties.

Following World War I (19141918), booming economic conditions produced an even more prosperous middle class who demanded even more books. The number of publishing houses grew. U.S. authors, such as Ernest Hemingway and Sinclair Lewis, found a world market. New York City became a source of talent for publishers everywhere. Universities grew in number and college textbooks became an important part of the publishing industry.

Book clubs that offered books by mail began to appear following World War I, with the Book-of-the-Month Club starting in 1926; its rival was The Literary Guild. Book clubs experienced a decline in popularity in the 1950s with the advent of cheap paperbound books.

The Great Depression (19291939) caused a trade slump in book publishing beginning in October 1929. In 1935 British publisher Allen Lane launched the Penguin series of paperbacks, and it immediately caught on. Shortly before the outbreak of World War II (19391945) Penguin paperbacks became available in the United States through Ian Ballantine, who later founded both Bantam Books and Ballantine Books. U.S. distribution was later taken over by Victor Weybright, who in 1948 founded the New American Library, another successful paperback venture.

The most successful U.S. publisher of mass paperbound books was Pocket Books, founded in June 1939 by Robert F. de Graff. Partnering with Richard Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster, founders of publishing house Simon and Schuster, de Graff began with a modest list of 10 titles, all reprints. Their success was immediate and unprecedented, and the company continued to dominate mass-market paperback publishing for decades. Several magazine publishers decided to launch paperback imprints, including Avon Books in 1941, Popular Library in 1942, and Dell Books in 1943.

World War II disrupted publishing but brought hidden benefits. Nazi persecution of the Jews resulted in the emigration of publishing talent to England and the United States, among other countries. Paper shortages caused publishers to print fewer new titles and fewer copies, but many of these smaller editions sold out to a public that had more time to read. There were also fewer consumer goods to compete with books, because of wartime rationing. As a result a new reading public emerged, and social and economic conditions favored publishing in the postwar period.

Technological developments after World War II spurred the publication of many new technical books, including college textbooks. There was also a major advance in printing, with photo composition replacing the labor-intensive methods of the traditional letterpress system. Large print runs of 100,000 or more copies could now be economically printed, although the problem of printing economical short runs of a few thousand copies remained.

By the 1950s paperback books were more than just a novelty, with paperback sales reaching 200 million copies and paperback revenues an estimated $46 million in 1950. In fact, a paperback revolution took place in the 1950s in the United States and throughout the world. It converted book borrowers into book buyers and created a large population of book buyers. For the first time books fell into the area of impulse buying. They were offered for sale in a variety of new locations from drugstores to airports. Scholarly paperbacks, aimed at university students, began appearing in the United States in the 1950s and soon spread to England and the European continent.

By the 1960s paperbacks had become a fixture of U.S. life. They reflected the social change of the decade, and in some cases helped bring it about. Paperback publishers perfected the "instant book" during the 1960s, providing in-depth treatment of major news stories within days of the event. Bestsellers were emphasized, with many authors benefiting from the wide exposure they received through paperbacks.

The tremendous profits generated by paperbacks in the 1960s and 1970s brought another change to publishing. Large corporations began to look at publishing as an area for investment. During the late 1960s and early 1970s many independent paperback firms came under the control of giant corporations such as Gulf & Western, CBS, RCA, and Warner Communications. These parent corporations made large amounts of cash available to their paperback subsidiaries, resulting in new levels of bidding among publishers for bestsellers. By the mid-1970s, million-dollar auctions for paperback rights were commonplace. Unfortunately, this resulted in higher prices for consumers; paperback sales, which had climbed steadily since their introduction, began to level off. During the late 1970s and early 1980s several paperback houses went out of business. It became more common for publishers to issue both hardcover and paperback editions, rather than selling the paperback rights to a separate firm.

Consolidation affected the rest of the book publishing industry as well. Fifteen major corporations dominated the industry by the early 1970s. This consolidation continued through the 1990s, when seven giant publishers accounted for 80 percent of all bestsellers in 1992. Concentration of power raised concerns about the quality and diversity of books being published, and some looked to small presses to fill the need for less popular but higher quality titles that catered to a variety of special interests.

Book publishing experienced tremendous growth during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. From sales of $1.68 billion in 1963, annual book sales doubled by 1973 then reached $8.6 billion in 1983. They nearly doubled again to reach $17.2 billion in 1993.

During the 1990s book publishers became more concerned with cutting costs, maximizing profits, and effective management techniques as a result of corporate ownership. For too long publishers had lagged behind other industries in achieving efficiencies in production, distribution, and marketing. Many challenges faced the book publishing industry in the 1990s, ranging from huge cash advances required to capture best-selling authors to competition from computers and VCRs for the leisure time of traditional book customers.

The fortunes of the publishing industry have been closely related to existing social, economic, and demographic conditions and trends. During the second half of the 1980s, children's publishing experienced tremendous growth, from $336 million in sales in 1985 to $1.1 billion in 1992, as the "baby boomlet" market developed. Suddenly, though, sales dropped by one-half, and publishers were forced to rethink their strategies. Trends favorable to publishing in the 1990s and beyond included higher enrollments in schools and colleges as well as an aging population that's interested in a variety of issues.

See also: Blanche Wolfe Knopf, McGraw-Hill Companies


FURTHER READING

Davis, Kenneth C. American Literary Publishing Houses, 19001980: Trade and Paperback. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1986.

Hilts, Paul. "The American Revolution in Book Production." Publishers Weekly, September 14, 1992.

Holland, Steve. The Mushroom Jungle: A History of Postwar Paperback Publishing. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, 1994.

Marmaduke, John. "Why Publishers are Losing Market Share." Publishers Weekly, November 10, 1997.

Maryles, Daisy. "They're the Tops." Publishers Weekly, January 4, 1999.

what can be said of the past 25 years in publishing, other than that they make the previous 100 seem slow in comparison?

publishers weekly , july 1997

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