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The Frankfurt Book Fair is the leading global industry venue for rights sales, facilitating business-to-buzzness deals and international networks. In this Element, we pursue an Ullapoolist approach to excavate beneath the production of bestsellers at the Fair. Our investigation involved three consecutive years of fieldwork (2017–2019) including interviews and autoethnographic, arts-informed interventions. The Element argues that buzz at the Fair exists in two states: as market-ready media reports and partial, lived experiences linked to mood. The physical structures and absences of the Fair enact its power relations and direct the flow of books and buzz. Further, the Fair is not only a site for commercial exchange but a carnival of sorts, marked by disruptive historical events and problematic socio-political dynamics. Key themes emerging from the Element are the presence of excess, the pseudo(neo)liberal self-satisfaction of book culture, and the interplay of optimism and pessimism in contemporary publishing.
The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain is an authoritative series which surveys the history of publishing, bookselling, authorship and reading in Britain. This seventh and final volume surveys the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from a range of perspectives in order to create a comprehensive guide, from growing professionalisation at the beginning of the twentieth century, to the impact of digital technologies at the end. Its multi-authored focus on the material book and its manufacture broadens to a study of the book's authorship and readership, and its production and dissemination via publishing and bookselling. It examines in detail key market sectors over the course of the period, and concludes with a series of essays concentrating on aspects of book history: the book in wartime; class, democracy and value; books and other media; intellectual property and copyright; and imperialism and post-imperialism.
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