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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 5: The American Novel to 1870$
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J. Gerald Kennedy and Leland S. Person

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195385359.001.0001

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Publishers, Booksellers, and the Literary Market

Publishers, Booksellers, and the Literary Market

(p.179) 10 Publishers, Booksellers, and the Literary Market
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Michael Winship

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the era of publishing based on the reprinting and exchange of British works that developed during the first decades of the new nation. It looks at the American Company of Booksellers and its role in managing book fairs between 1802 and 1805, as well as the emergence of cheaper American editions that had largely replaced imported editions of standard British works, including novels. It also examines how book fairs helped booksellers while also encouraging overproduction that resulted in market saturation; the publication of serious novels in the United States until mid-century and beyond; the failure of U.S. copyright law to extend protection to the works of foreign authors; and the rise of dedicated, independent bookstores in cities and towns across the nation. Finally, the chapter discusses the establishment of an effective system that enabled trade publishers to reach the literary market.

Keywords:   publishing, reprinting, American Company of Booksellers, book fair, imported edition, bookseller, copyright law, bookstore, trade publisher, literary market

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