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Book Value Categories and the Acceptance of Technological Changes in English Book Production

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Simon Rosenberg

For more than 20 years now, the publishing industry has been highly influenced by innovations in digital technology. This is not the first time that technological changes affect the book trade. Both the printing press and industrialized production methods vitally changed the book industry in their time. With a macroscopic, comparative approach, this book looks at the transitional phases of the book of the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries to locate distinctive patterns in the acceptance of new technologies. Using specific book value categories, which shape the acceptance context of innovations in book production, helps us find continuities and discontinuities of these patterns. It also offers a better understanding of current developments in publishing in the digital age.

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Contents

Introduction

The Death of the Printed Book?

The Book as an Evolutionary Process?

The Book

Publishing

Structure

Approach of This Study

1. Basic Concepts: Value and Acceptance

1.1. Value

1.2. Acceptance

1.3. Value and the Book

The Value Chain of Publishing

1.4. Book Value Categories

Economic Value

Content Value

Symbolic Value

Conclusion

2. The Gutenberg Age

2.1. Context: Introduction of the Printed Book

Type Material

Paper

Printing Process

Gutenberg’s B42

Incunables as Transitional Books

2.2. Early Printing Presses in England

2.2.1 Preconditions in England

Readers

Publishing Categories

Patronage

2.2.2 William Caxton

2.2.3 Wynkyn de Worde and Richard Pynson

Comparing Caxton, de Worde and Pynson

2.2.4 The English Provinces

Oxford (1478–1519)

Cambridge (1520–1522)

St Albans (1479–1486)

2.3. Acceptance of the Printed Book in England

2.4. The Book Value Categories Applied

3. The Industrial Age

3.1. Context: England During the Industrialization

3.1.1 Publication

Authors

Publisher

3.1.2 Manufacture

Printing from Plates

Paper

Sourcing of Material

New Printing Presses

3.1.3 Reception

3.1.4 Distribution

Railways

Libraries

Mudie’s “Select Library”

3.2. Acceptance of Industrialized Book Production

3.3. Book Value Categories Applied

4. The Digital Age

4.1. Context: Introduction of the E-Book

4.2. Publishing in the Digital Age

4.2.1 The Early E-Book-Market

4.2.2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Content

Support of Acceptance

Hindrances of Acceptance

Piracy

Price Policy

Formats

Reading Devices

4.3. Acceptance of the Digital Book

4.4. The Book Value Categories Applied

Conclusion

Gutenberg Age

Industrial Age

Digital Age

Prognosis?

List of Illustrations

Bibliography