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Early America Publishing
THE PUBLISHING SECTOR. The book publishing company in the United States has grown from a simple letterpress machine bought from England in 1638 to an industrial sector with more than 2,600 publishers and an annual turnover of almost 25 billion dollars in 2000. Some of the country's most famous publishers, some dating back to 1800, have evolved from privately held companies to multi-national publishing groups.
The emergence of the World Wide Web in the 90s and other advancements in e-publishing technologies have put the sector at the forefront of the electronics revolution that is changing the US econ. Stephen Daye (also called Daye) printed the first book in America, The Whole Booke of Psalmes, also known as the Bay Psalm Book.
Boston-Cambridge has been a centre of publishing since these early years. Another publishing centre originating in the era of colonialism. In 1693 Bradford went to New York, but his offspring stayed in Philadelphia, where they were publishing leaders until the 19th c... Philadelphia's best-known publishing house was Benjamin Franklin, who opened his printing works in 1728.
Besides the Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin has written a number of works, among them Richard's Almanack (1732-1757), which reached an impressing circulation of 10,000 a year. Franklin began publishing much-loved British fiction in the settlements in 1744. Shortly before the American Revolution, Isaiah Thomas von Worcester, Massachusetts, became the most succesful editor of Europe's titles in the empires.
Most of the works on New England printing machines were written by religion, while more than half of the South were right. Printshops during the war were often bookshops who sold them.
Throughout the 19th and 20th c. a model of publishing sector trend continued into the following centenaries. Until 1850, New York Downtown had overtaken Boston and Philadelphia to become the centre of the publishing business in the United States, a stance the town held until the twenty-first Century.
New York publishing companies such as Harper, Putnam and Scribner were still important players in the sector in 2000. In the 1840' the licensing system began, and the introduction of foreign intellectual property rights at the end of the last millennium secured the paying of the authors' licence fees. New York's major publishing companies, which made the city so well known in the sector, exerted so much pressure throughout the shire that they pushed many of the many of the locally owned printing companies that prospered in the 1700s and early 1800s out of the market.
Harper Bros. was the first major New York publishing company in 1817. Until 1840 George Palmer Putnam had also set up a publishing company in the town, in association with John Wiley, and in 1846 Charles Scribner set up his publishing company in New York. Together, these three companies formed New York as the centre of the American book publishing sector.
As with many producers in the town, these publishing companies used the Erie Canal, which opened stores in the west as far as New York in 1825. The New York publishing companies were able to offer better rates than the regional print shops because they were able to lower their overheads by producing and distributing large volumes of them. A lot of smaller print shops could not keep up with this rivalry of the big New York publishing companies.
As many 19th c. editors, Harper Bros. took full benefit of the shortage of global copyrights enforcements. It has piracy prints of works by UK writers such as Charles Dickens, William Make-peace Thackeray and Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë. This book sells around 400,000 books, a number that would categorize it as a best-selling non-fiction book at the turn of the 20th and 20th centuries.
In the absence of enforcement of supranational copyrights, US publishing houses did not license UK writers or their publishing houses. In 1842 Dickens travelled to the United States to obtain emoluments from the sales of his works.
Unlucky in reimbursing this cash, the voyage gave Dickens the materials for his book entitled America Notes for General Circulation, which Harper Bros. immediately bootleg. In 1790, Congress passed a law to promote the advancement of intellectual property in the United States.
Until the end of the 19th c. the US writers had become so well-known all over the globe that their works were sold abroad. In order to make sure that these US writers, as well as their editors, were paid the royalty they were entitled to on royalty income from outside the United States, Congress joined the International Copyright Act of 1891.
This ensured that US writers and editors received emoluments from the sale of works by other signatories, but also put an end to pirated copies of works by USlishers. Up until the middle of the 19th centrury, most US writers released at their own cost. However, when the US publishing houses began to use their own resources to produce their own book, they usually did not pay the writers any royalty until they received back the original cost of this work.
In 1846 George Palmer Putnam introduced the advanced licensing system and offered the writers 10 per cent of the sales value of a book for each copy purchased. Paperbacks were another innovative book publishing product of the 19th cent. 1860 Erastus Beadle, a painter in Ostega County, New York, released A Dime Song Book, a paper-bound compilation of texts on pop music.
Selling this book was so high that Beadle released another 10-cent book, Maleska, in the same year: This book was an adventurous novel known as "Dime Romane". Patten designed the character Frank Merriwell, whose heroic deeds contributed to the sale of 125 million of Patten's work.
Despite their merit in terms of poetry being called into question, penny dreadfuls were an important source of information until the early 1910s, when they were overtaken by periodicals and comics. Whilst the reader of penny dreadfuls was enjoying healthy stories, other mid-19th -century writers were indulging in the slipperier writing that had become a speciality of New Yorkers.
In 1870 Anthony Comstock, a knight of the crusade and clerk of the New York Society for Suppression of Vice, headed a winning 1870 press release that compelled New York publishing companies to stop pushing this hot-blooded notion. He continued his antiobscene action until his demise in 1915, and he was so efficient that the New York publishing house stayed in business well into the 20th-century that it had a strong presence in New York.
Though Comstock' s campaign aimed to suppress indecent publication, the whole of the world of books and publishing felt the impact of this kind of work. "The 1920' is generally regarded in US writing as the beginning of modernity. It was during this ten-year period that a new breed of US publishing giant appeared.
Her work was often too brave to be published by the New York publishing companies, which still felt the censural impact of Comstock and its work. These new generations of authors needed a new breed of publisher who dared to advocate for new, contemporary US lit. In the 1920' such important publishing companies as Simon and Schuster, Random House, Alfred A. Knopf and Viking Press were founded.
While Random House would become the biggest and most prosperous publishing company in the nation and maintain this stance into the 21st Century, Simon and Schuster launched several major sector innovation with long-term implications. The company re-launched paperbacks with the Pocket Book label in 1939. It followed the example of the UK publishing company Penguin Book and printed classic literature on softcover under the title Anchor School.
In the 1930' s, the global financial crisis affected the book publishing business as much as any other part of the US business. In those days, most of the bookstores were small-scale, and to help them overcome the financial hardship of the Great Depression Simon and Schuster created a system that allowed bookstores to give back unsellable specimens of the book for purchase in the near term.
Others quickly had to adopt the example of Simon and Schuster, and practices became the industrial norm. Sometimes a bookseller could use this system to their benefit to clean up stocks or "pay" for a copy of a new book by return of unsell. Publishing houses have adjusted to the return system by including the cost of sending, storing and reusing the return book.
In the 1920' the founding of book societies was seen as a new way of marketing literature. In the 70s there were about 150 book club shops and generated almost 250 million dollars in turnover or 8 per cent of the industry's turnover at that year. However, in the 90s, bookclubs were fighting for survival because of rivalry from domestic bookselling networks and online retailers.
By the beginning of the 21st always there were only a few book societies. In the early 1960', an important publishing industry tendency was the merger of companies and the consolidating of retailers. RCA Random House was purchased for $40 million in 1965 and added to the list of companies that include NBC Radio and Television.
Random house was taken over by Advanced Communications in 1980 and became part of the new home family's audio-visual imperial. In this period, several publishing houses, among them Crown, Fawcett and Ballatine, were amalgamated with Random house. Random House was taken over in 1998 by Bertelsmann AG, a German publishing group already held by Bantam Doubleday Dell Group at the date of the Random House acquisition.
Between 1984 and 1994, the firm purchased more than sixty companies, among them Prentice-Hall, Silver Burdett and Macmillan Publishing Companys. Pearson PLC, which later became Longman, purchased the company's training, specialist and referential equipment in 1998. Prentice-Hall and Addison Wesley, for example, which were competitors in the textbooks and textbooks market, are held by the same mother companies, Longman-Pearson (which also includes Viking, Penguin, Putnam and Dutton).
A handfull of large publishing groups have been able to take over the sector as a result of the consolidations. The book publishing companies also had to stabilize due to the consolidations of the retailing businesses. As a rule, these bookstores had large stocks of prior years' stock (known in the sector as backlists). Through the purchase of volumes, chain could make more money on each copy of a book they sell, enabling them to raise their rent.
Purchasing volumes also means they can bargain lower rebates from the publishing houses. This rebate was passed on to book purchasers, enabling the chain stores to win clients from the smaller independant bookshops. That had far-reaching effects on publishing houses. A lot of publishing houses were relying on back-list selling as a constant flow of revenue that helps them survive the years when new print products (i.e. front list titles) were not sold as well as expected.
With fewer and fewer back-list stocks for purchase, publishing houses were forced to produce more and more popular front liststock. The publishing houses had to maintain a number of writers whose works could almost always be considered best-sellers. When this list was developed, publishing houses had to give bonuses to win and retain these writers.
In 1972, for example, bestselling writer Irving Wallace contracted with Bantam Books valued at $2. 5 million. In order to be able to afford such an order, a publishing company like Bantam needed substantial funds; a single publishing company may not have these funds, but a publishing group does. In the 80s and 90s, bookstore chains altered their advertising strategies by setting up the so-called supermarket.
Barnes and Noble Bookstop, a range of supermarket-style bookshops, purchased and entered the book trade in 1989. As a result, the publishing houses were able to bargain even larger rebates from publishing houses, which further boosted their shares of the overall bookstore book trade and forced an even larger number of independents out of the bookstore sector. In the course of further price reductions, the entire sector increasingly relied on best-sellers, which generated high revenues and earnings.
Due to their appeal and the dependability with which they produce best-sellers, a fistful of writers dominated the book publishing world. From 1986 to 1996, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Stephen King, Danielle Steel and Dean Koontz were writing sixty-three of the hundred best-selling titles in the United States.
J. K. Rowling, writer of the Harry Potter franchise, later became a member of this handful of super-selling writers. In the same way that consolidating the book sector changed in the 90s, the World Wide Web and the new technologies of e-publishing rewrote the regulations for book publishing houses and book sales. Bookshops like Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com have strongly influenced the way publishing houses promote and distribute music.
Those stores provide the choice, accessibility and rebates that were the marketed strength of book club and bookseller that are now competing with on-line vendors. By the mid-1990s, many were predicting the decline of the print book and claiming that it would be replaced by CD-ROMs, on-line titles and other ebooks (or e-books).
While the print book is still flourishing, CD-ROMs and web-based technologies have changed many facets of the book publishing world. As an example, traditional encyclopedias are multi-volume kits composed by a group of writers and writers who have spent several years in preparation for a new work. While it still takes a long timeframe to collect, author and process new references, e-publishing has drastically cut the amount of effort needed to create an outdated one.
Frequently an update is posted on a website and can be download by a subscriber. Also, web-based and CD-ROM technologies have significantly enhanced the way referenced information can be browsed. Through the integration of audio, colour pictures and videos into a single frame of reference, e-publishing has also changed the essence of this kind of work.
A further innovative feature of e-publishing is print-on-demand. It is a kind of printing technique that allows a publishing house to produce a book as a one-off at the client's option. Teaching book publishing houses are offering this technique to teaching staff so that they can produce individual teaching books for certain classes online. It also prolonged the period of book availability for sale.
As a tradition, one of the publishers ceased publishing new books and said it was "out of print" when the company could no longer buy more of them. However, print-on-demand allows the customer to reprint a book whenever he wishes, and a publishers may never have to label a book as out of stock.
At the beginning of the 21st millennium, this was still a premier publishing experience, but many publishers thought that all bookshops would offer print-on-demand at some point, offering an almost infinite selection of publications for read. Ebook enables the reader to read and write on a wide range of PC platforms.
In its early stages, this technique had the capacity to reorganize the whole publishing sector. Random House, Penguin Putnam, Harper Collins and Simon and Schuster, all competing publishers, signed an arrangement in September 2001 to circumvent incumbent on-line retailers and resell e-books directly from the Yahoo! website.
As a forerunner of the next generation of on-line book publishing technologies, many professionals took this regulation, which allows publishing houses to directly market their products to their clients. Bookshop: Publishing, past, present and will. NY: New York: Greco, Albert N. L'industrie de l'édition du livre. An American bestseller's cultural story, 1900-1999.
NY: New York: A bookstore: The way international corporations took over publishing and altered our reading. Also seeLiterature; Printing industry.