Prices, Exports, Imports
This chapter reiterates the official complaint made by London booksellers in 1735 and again fifty years later that the Dublin trade was able to substantially undercut London book-prices. This is a point of considerable importance because it depends on the viability of the entire reprint trade. Given the choice of the London original or the Dublin reprint at the same price, Irish readers would invariably have chosen the former, except perhaps in times of patriotic boycott of English goods. Cost-cutting was equally important in what export trade in books was allowed by British law. The trade depended largely on reprints, and the foreign and colonial customer would again prefer the Dublin reprint only if there was a distinct price advantage. The English booksellers objected to the Irish reprint trade for two reasons: it spoilt the market for their own editions in Ireland, and illegally imported copies threatened their sales in the English provinces and to some extent in the colonies.
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