Merchants of Culture: he Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century
Polity, $39.95 hb, 440 pp
Since well before the global financial crash of 2008, there has been pessimism about the future of the book in an age of new paradigms: electronic transmission and gadgetry, all thus far untested, in a screen culture age. This uncertainty still hovers, like a pungent doom-cloud, despite the furious conversion of new and backlist files into multiple formats in publishing houses everywhere in readiness for the e-revolution. This is expensive and time-consuming work, done in good faith as an investment for the future. One by-product has been a chilling realisation that file archiving is poorly managed by many houses and that finding print-ready files of backlist books to convert to e-format isn’t as easy as was anticipated.