12

The information points to a separation of the jobs of publisher/retailer on the one hand and the techical work of printing on the other. For a long time after the invention of the printing press, the same person could be both printer and bookseller. William Caxton, who probably brought the printing press to England, not only printed and sold book, but also ...


10

In my experience, having worked in-house in the publishing industry for more than 10 years, it is quite usual for the cover to be decided by anyone other than the author. It's usually done through consultations in long meetings between the publisher, production and marketing who have commissioned designers to make about a zillion options. I imagine once ...


7

The noted science fiction author Samuel Delany has a lengthy discussion of the canonization process in his book About Writing. His conclusions are: While there is a definite relationship between canonization and quality, canonization is socially constructed, mutable, and often affected by incidentals not directly related to the work's quality, including ...


7

The New York Times (thereafter NYT) has a pretty detailed explanation of their methodology. First, the list does talk about retail sales (which is rather good news, but is not the case in other industries such as video games). Those figures are measured from a panel on which NYT does not say much, except that it's confidential and should be trusted, and is ...


5

Italo Calvino's "Why read the Classics" (2000) Italo Calvino lists 14 "definitions" of a classic Although (As mentioned in the comments) although the viewpoint of Italo Calvino is quite abstract and possibly intentionally ambiguous, I believe it gives a good initial idea of just the difficulty in describing a "classic". Another ...


3

The reason for some newly-published books being available on paper but not digitally is that the author can refuse to publish it as an e-book. For example, when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was published in 2005, J. K. Rowling was refusing e-book versions for the Harry Potter books: J.K. Rowling has not permitted any of the six Potter books to ...


3

I've worked in the publishing industry for over 15 years, and in my experience, authors have a lot of control over the covers of their books. The publisher would find a suitable illustrator, and then we would set up a meeting between the author and the illustrator where they discussed their ideas for the cover. The author didn't have final say over the cover,...


3

Taking your example of the Harry Potter audiobooks, I looked at the prices directly from the publisher, Bloomsbury Publishing. I compared the length of the paperbacks to the cost of the audiobooks, and it turned out that the trend was almost perfectly matching. If we take the length of the first book as 1, and the price also as 1, and measure relative to ...


2

I can think of a couple of reasons why a web comic might become published: A single, physical, consolidated book is easier to read, rather than going from page to page to read a panel. It's also easier to take to different places to enjoy, rather than having a desktop screen or laptop (old-school e-readers wouldn't handle this material well while newer ...


2

There is no central repository for total sales numbers for books, so any composite list will be by approximation only. Their approaches, content and methods all differ and they make interesting reading. It is important to consider the source and to interpret with great care. Most aim at recent sales and historic figures, if present at all often are all but ...


2

"Printed for" mean "printed for some booksleller or several booksellers". In this particular case, "Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown" are actually one bookseller, not several: Longman had three sons. Of these, Thomas Norton Longman (1771–1842) succeeded to the business. In 1804 two more partners were admitted, and the ...


1

To be honest, if there isn't some sort of gatekeeper - bookstore owner, professional reviewer, etc., then the pool of books you're looking at is always going to contain books of more variable quality than those that have passed through some sort of gate. One thing you can do is look for other types of hurdles that generally mean books on the other side ...


1

This almost certainly has to do with the technology of printing, and the economics of publishing. There are currently many modern editions of Blake's illuminated works, and they contain much detail and many colors. To the best of my knowledge, the printing technology for mass reproduction of complex color images wasn't readily available: Alois Senefelder, ...


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