Literature and Marketing

  • Claire Squires


Literature has long had a close yet difficult relationship to marketing. The publishing industry and other intermediary agencies involved in the transmission of reading matter work within a marketplace which, in addition to the demands of commerce, incorporates the values enshrined in cultural activity. This dual nature of the publishing industry is one that has led to the tension referred to by Lewis A. Coser, Charles Kadushin and Walter W. Powell in their oft-quoted dictum in Books: The Culture and Commerce of Publishing (1982), to the effect that, ‘The industry remains perilously poised between the requirements and restraints of commerce and the responsibilities and obligations that it must bear as a prime guardian of the symbolic culture of the nation.’1 Marketing, if taken broadly as the activity by which literature is brought to the commercial marketplace, is the catalyst for much of this tension, and in the specific form of publishers’ and retailers’ promotional activities, it is frequently taken both to symbolise and actualise the shifting relationship of art to business.


Marketing Activity Publishing Industry Reading Group Book Trade Marketing Communication 
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© Claire Squires 2007

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  • Claire Squires

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