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The Publishing Business: From p-books to e-books (Creative Careers) Paperback – 6 Aug 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: AVA Publishing; 1 edition (6 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 294041162X
  • ISBN-13: 978-2940411627
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 2.5 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

The Publishing Business provides an excellent introduction to contemporary publishing. It is recommended reading for anyone wanting up-to-date information about roles and responsibilities in this global industry. Sally Hughes, Oxford Brookes University, UK Beautifully produced and illustrated, The Publishing Business provides a clear and succinct overview of what it means to be a publisher in an era of rapid technological change. The use of diagrams and case studies helps to convey complex information in a clear and meaningful way. The book will be invaluable for publishing students and a useful reference guide for publishing professionals. Penelope Woolf, Editorial Director, Oxford University Press, UK I think the book is superb! It looks so much better than any existing textbook on the subject, and practises what it preaches: it is a real visual feast for a visual medium. I shall definitely be recommending it as the main source that students need for their course. A really great production feat! Brenda Stones, City University, London Kelvin Smith's The Publishing Business: from p-books to e-books is the first book in the new Creative Careers series from AVA Publishing, and unlike other guides to publishing it's a visual feast... the book won me over with interesting facts and quotes about and from our industry, and for its skill at 'joining the dots', filling gaps in knowledge that all of us know we have. Although designed primarily for publishing students this is a great book for anyone starting out in publishing to dip into and jargon-bust, from which they will emerge feeling more confident. And with so much gloom and pessimism about our future it's refreshing to read something both upbeat and measured. Rachel Maund, Marketability, 2012 A must-read book aimed for all of us who want to keep the publishing business alive. Inspiring, comprehensive, insightful. Teresa de Andr s, Visual Mag, 2012 An introduction to the publishing industry as it is today. It stimulates and promotes curiosity and investigation from the graduate to the accidental author and publisher. This is neither a history nor complete compendium of publishing today, but it is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand how the modern publishing world works and wants to play any part within it. Mick Rooney, The Independent Publishing Magazine, 2012 The Publishing Business is an excellent reference and will offer students a strong introduction to the opportunities and challenges within the current state of the industry. I certainly wish I could have read it before I started my MPub degree, if for no other reason than to get up to speed on the terminology ... The Publishing Business is the first in Ava Academia's Creative Careers series, and given its practical, comprehensive approach and clear, informative content, I'll be sure to keep an eye out for the series' future titles. Iva Cheung, Editor and Publishing Consultant, ivacheung.com A beautiful book which is well laid out and thought through. It serves as an excellent introduction to the entire publishing business which does not overwhelm the brand new student, rather excites their appetite for the trade in an accessible way. Leah Tether, Anglia Ruskin University, UK Books on publishing tend to be rather boring, but not this one. Written in a very accessible style, it is jam-packed with helpful information, insights and resources; it is also beautifully designed, imaginatively and richly illustrated, and with all sorts of nice touches. It is a real pleasure to dip into and is currently in the top spot on my coffee table! Hans Zell, Hans Zell Publishing, 2012 The Publishing Business serves as an illustrated introduction to how modern book publishers create and sell content. Smith (independent scholar) explains different types of publishers and outlines the variety of jobs available. The book dedicates most chapters to the main process of creating a book -- from editorial through to distribution and sales. Each section includes several full-color charts, along with samples of covers and other products. This volume is part of the "Creative Careers" series, designed to help students learn about creative industries. It provides discussion questions and activities at the end of each chapter. Also featured are recommended readings, online resources, and a glossary of key publishing terms. While the book is visually stunning and filled with case studies that range from major trade publishers like Random House to small presses like Persephone Books, the material is very introductory. Smith never dedicates more than two or three paragraphs to a particular facet of the industry. This is one of the few titles that cover the digital revolution sweeping the industry, and it is a very accessible introduction. It deserves a place alongside Marshall Lee's Bookmaking (3rd ed., CH, Oct'04, 42-0650) and Thomas Woll's Publishing for Profit (rev. and expanded 4th ed., 2010). Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduate students and general readers. J. Rodzvilla, Emerson College, USA A big, attractive softcover with lots of colour pictures and visual interest. I recommend the book to anyone who's considering working in publishing or simply wants to know more about how books are made. Eva van Emden, freelance editor and proofreader This book is handsomely designed with lashings of colour, glossy pages, pull quotes that sometimes sit on whole pages and a magazine-column layout. Though a textbook, The Publishing Business could easily sit on public library shelves as well as senior high-school and TAFE college shelves. The book is so visually inviting that one could casually display it on a home or office coffee table. But beyond its looks, this volume gives a whole-picture view of publishing, including history, editorial processes, design, and both print and digital publishing. Fittingly, an early chapter investigates writers, readers and intermediaries such as literary agents. Without the writer, the publisher would have nothing to produce; without the reader, neither the writer nor the publisher would have an audience. Each chapter finishes with a case study, such as print and digital processes at university presses. The Australian Library Journal, 2013, vol. 62 A book about publishing that finally looks, as well as sounds, like the business! The attention to the production values show students how vital this part of successful book publishing is: in a time where content packaging is THE most talked about challenge, this book delivers lessons and advice in an accessible, immediately impactful way. What student would not be inspired by this book? Highly Recommended! Samantha J. Rayner, University College London, UK The Publishing Business represents not only a thoroughly researched and comprehensive guide to contemporary publishing but also an example of what a well designed and accessible textbook should be. Prof Alistair McCleery, Edinburgh Napier University Convincing proof of how such a textbook should be organized in order to become a student's and a teacher's best friend. This book is no desert of black type. It is beautifully laid out: every double-page spread is presented with short paragraphs, well-chosen illustrations, and guidance that will capture the reader's attention. R diger Wischenbart - LOGOS: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture

About the Author

Kelvin Smith has an extensive experience of developing innovative postgraduate publishing programmes in higher education institutions in the UK, Africa and Europe. He also provides consultancy on publishing education, including course and materials development, advice on funding applications, and related monitoring and evaluation activities.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mick Rooney on 11 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback
Readers of The Independent Publishing Magazine will know that we don't do many book reviews here. In fact, over a period of five years, I think we have reviewed less than six books, and two of those reviews were editions of Mark Levine's Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Revealing this will probably alert readers of TIPM to the fact that we only review books within the business/education genre--specifically books on the business of publishing, the publishing industry, and, of course, self-publishing--and there is a shortage of really good books in this area. Take note; I said really good ones!

In reality, there is actually an abundance of books about self-publishing and e-book publishing--some written by freewheeling marketers out to make a quick few dollars; many others are self-published, and are perfect examples of how not to self-publish! With so many changes in the industry, it is understandable that mainstream publishers have been reluctant to release books about the industry containing any definitive blueprints as to where the future lies.

Kelvin Smith's The Publishing Business: From p-books to e-books, the first book published in AVA's Creative Careers series, makes no bold prophecies of the future, but, instead, seeks to bridge the gap for creative graduates between education and a first job in the industry. However, after reading the book, I couldn't help feeling that the book would be more suitable as a general accompaniment to a graduate or post-graduate course, rather than a book suitable for those making the step into the industry. Kelvin Smith does a fine job by including discussion questions at the end of each of the seven chapters, and many of those questions lead seamlessly to the next chapter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KLP on 4 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to see how the latest developments (e-publishing, POD etc) fitted into the overall industry. It was a useful overview of the developments but I would have liked a bit more detail. But it's a great book to use as a starting point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TIPM Review, September 2012 11 Sep 2012
By Mick Rooney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Readers of The Independent Publishing Magazine will know that we don't do many book reviews here. In fact, over a period of five years, I think we have reviewed less than six books, and two of those reviews were editions of Mark Levine's Fine Print of Self-Publishing. Revealing this will probably alert readers of TIPM to the fact that we only review books within the business/education genre--specifically books on the business of publishing, the publishing industry, and, of course, self-publishing--and there is a shortage of really good books in this area. Take note; I said really good ones!

In reality, there is actually an abundance of books about self-publishing and e-book publishing--some written by freewheeling marketers out to make a quick few dollars; many others are self-published, and are perfect examples of how not to self-publish! With so many changes in the industry, it is understandable that mainstream publishers have been reluctant to release books about the industry containing any definitive blueprints as to where the future lies.

Kelvin Smith's The Publishing Business: From p-books to e-books, the first book published in AVA's Creative Careers series, makes no bold prophecies of the future, but, instead, seeks to bridge the gap for creative graduates between education and a first job in the industry. However, after reading the book, I couldn't help feeling that the book would be more suitable as a general accompaniment to a graduate or post-graduate course, rather than a book suitable for those making the step into the industry. Kelvin Smith does a fine job by including discussion questions at the end of each of the seven chapters, and many of those questions lead seamlessly to the next chapter. I did feel that a graduate would have asked many of those questions long before completing their degree. But this is actually where the book really has its strongest appeal--not engaging in academic language, and, instead, trying to demystify the industry rather than present it as some complex and unique form of business. In doing so, Smith has done more to make the publishing industry appealing to young creative graduates than any academic with a beard and wire-rimmed glasses. This book will appeal to anyone with a casual interest in the intriguing world of the modern publisher and many self-publishers would learn a thing or two about how publishing works from the ground up.

The book, packed with plenty of colour illustrations, is beautifully designed and well formulated with chapters ranging from publishing fundamentals; the planning and choices modern publishers have to make; the roles in publishing; the flow of a book from an author's manuscript to a reader's hands; the various intermediaries in the process; print, design and production processes; through to marketing, distribution and sales. Too many books like this one can spend chapter upon chapter examining the history of publishing and the revolution the print press had, but while Smith does doff his cap to history, the book is grounded in quotes from some of the most insightful and seminal pieces written about publishing over the past couple of years.

Some of the chapters finish up with case studies, activity pieces and questions and I did feel that these could have been greatly expanded upon. It was as if the book was first conceptualised as a book for course study and accompaniment or one for those interested in the industry in general, but somehow changed during its writing and commission and ended up falling between both stools without fully delivering on either application. That should not take away from what Smith's book offers the reader, and it is a masterful accomplishment to bring together so much between the covers about an industry literally changing month by month. I'm reminded--just as one example--of his thoroughly expansive pieces in the book on pricing and bookseller discounts, and how news today of HarperCollins' abandonment of Agency Pricing following the USA DOJ's legal declaration can quickly change the digital landscape in publishing.

The real core of the book comes into its own in the final two chapters, examining print and digital publishing and its effects on workflow within a publishing house and the changes in marketing communication, the way sales teams work, and the book supply chain. This is perhaps the most insightful part of the book and the place many coffee and pizza-stained fingerprints will be left. Smith takes a look at the thorny issues of consumer choice, discoverability and disintermediation (bringing the creator and consumer closer together) and I felt it was the one real area where the author could and should have spent greater time exploring the models of business now operating in the publishing world. This was a real opportunity to examine self-publishing (not something specifically aligned to digital publishing), new monetization streams for publishers, and the converging worlds of publishers as content managers and service providers. I'm thinking of those graduates again, and I know many may have dreams of working for Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins or Penguin, but the reality is that most will end up working within the service side of the industry in the years to come and not the glamour side.

This book was a real pleasure and experience to read and Smith clearly had his pulse on what is new and developing in the industry. It is thorough and sticks firmly to how the core of the industry works today. His final case study featured Persephone Books, a publisher very much of the modern age, but with an eye on quality and tradition. It was apt to finish on such a publisher because it represents what is important and good about publishing--proving that the best of the old and new can work harmoniously together. Therein lies the real message within the pages of this book. Smith didn't pander to my interests in self-publishing or feel the need overplay it or beef up its impact on the industry. It was subtly mentioned and acknowledged in many areas without a fuss being made. Maybe that is how it should be.

The Publishing Business: From p-books to e-books is an introduction to the publishing industry as it is today. It stimulates and promotes curiosity and investigation from the graduate to the accidental author and publisher. This is neither a history nor complete compendium of publishing today, but it is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand how the modern publishing world works and wants to play any part within it.
great book! 22 Jun 2014
By roxy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
So much valuable information! Took a book publishing class Spring term 2014, and this was the book we used. It was very informational and easy to understand, it was a huge help!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Too much going on!! 24 Jan 2013
By kcamperz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is full of information...so full that it feels like it is being thrown at you by a major league pitcher. I have read three chapters of this book and still have no idea what I have read. I have even gone back to reread them thinking it was just me being scatter-brained...nope. Others in my class have also complained about the composition of this text and how incomprehensible it is. It is typically referred to as the "Busy Book" because every page is so busy with an overload of information, discussion questions, graphics, and side information.

The discussion questions for the readings are not organized appropriately. The question being asked may come from the overload of information read several pages before where another discussion question was presented. The graphics on the page are also very overwhelming for the reader and many times do not correspond to information in the text.

For a book about the publishing business, this is definitely not the best example of an academic publishing.

For you professors out there contemplating the use of this textbook, don't do it.
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