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date: 07 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Trade publishing is the world of general-interest books, both fiction and non-fiction, that are written for a non-specialist readership and sold through the general retail trade, including retail chains such as Barnes & Noble in the USA and Waterstones in the UK, independent booksellers, and online retailers such as Amazon. For many people, this is the world they think of first when they think of books and publishing: it is the public face of publishing. This chapter analyses the world of trade publishing in the USA and Britain. It shows how this world has changed since 1960 and it analyses four aspects of trade publishing that are particularly important for understanding it today: the value of author brand; the relation between frontlist and backlist; the role of marketing and publicity; and the challenges and opportunities created by the digital revolution.

Keywords: Trade, bestsellers, brand-name authors, literary agents, frontlist, backlist, publicity, ebooks

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