The Marketing and Consumption of Literature
Edited by Stephen Brown
Routledge – 2009 – 224 pages
The buying, selling, and writing of books is a colossal industry in which marketing looms large, yet there are very few books which deal with book marketing (how-to texts excepted) and fewer still on book consumption. This innovative text not only rectifies this, but also argues that far from being detached, the book business in fact epitomises today’s Entertainment Economy (fast moving, hit driven, intense competition, rapid technological change, etc.).
Written by an impressive roster of renowned marketing authorities, many with experience of the book trade and all gifted writers in their own right, Consuming Books steps back from the practicalities of book marketing and takes a look at the industry from a broader consumer research perspective. Consisting of sixteen chapters, divided into four loose sections, this key text covers:
* a historical overview
* the often acrimonious marketing/literature interface
* the consumers of books (from book groups to bookcrossing)
* a consideration of the tensions that both literary types and marketers feel.
With something for everyone, Consuming Books not only complements the ‘how-to’ genre but provides the depth that previous studies of book consumption conspicuously lack.
Contributors Preface: Beanz Meanz Bookz 1. Rattles From the Swill Bucket 2. Selling God’s Book 3. The Extraordinary Tale of an Eight Point Eight Million Dollar Book 4. The Pleasures of the Used Text: Revealing Traces of Consumption 5. Culture Club: Marketing and Consuming The Da Vinci Code 6. Martin Amis on Marketing 7. Paperback Mother 8. On the Commercial Exaltation of Artistic Mediocrity: Books, Bread, Postmodern Statistics, Surprising Success Stories, and the Doomed Magnificence of Way Too Many Big Words 9. Book Reading Groups: A ‘Male Outsider’ Perspective 10. You Can’t Tell a Book by Its Cover: Bookworms, Bookcases and Bookcrossing 11. Consuming Literature 12. Riddikulus! Consumer Reflections on the Harry Potter Phenomenon 13. Telling Tales of Virago Press 14. No Experience Necessary (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Marketing) 15. I Write Marketing Textbooks But Really I’m a Swill Guy 16. A Step-by-Step Guide to Bridget Jones’s Diary, Fight Club, and the ‘How-to’ Industry
Stephen Brown is Professor of Marketing Research at the University of Ulster. Best known for Postmodern Marketing, he has published numerous books including Free Gift Inside and Wizard. His papers have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research and many more.