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Inside Book Publishing 4th | Reviews

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Writers Bookstall

Inside Book Publishing 4th Edition – Giles Clark and Angus Phillips
Routledge, Paperback 264 pages

 

 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

'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.'

Giles Clark is Co-Publishing Adviser, Learning and Teaching Solutions, at the Open University and his teaching background shows in this clear, detailed and extremely knowledgeable guide to the business of book publishing. His co-author Angus Phillips is Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, Oxford Brookes University. This is the fourth edition of the book and provides an up-to-date picture, covering the many changes currently taking place in publishing.

First, the authors give 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. They go on to describe the different sectors of publishing, how they respond to their own markets and have become quite different businesses. Then there are chapters on creating and protecting value, the author and commissioning.

Next the book 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.

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

The book is useful in that it 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.  As the authors say: ‘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. This expanded and thoroughly revised fourth edition addresses the 'big issues' of globalisation and the impact of the internet. 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 Holifield

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List price: £25.99
Publisher: Routledge
2008-06-12
Paperback
Sales rank: 417,089