The Techniques of Evangelical Publishing

in Science and Salvation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780226276472
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226276465 | DOI:
The Techniques of Evangelical Publishing

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Producing popular science works involved acquiring suitable manuscripts, turning them into printed works as cheaply as possible, and arranging for them to be marketed and distributed as effectively as possible. These were processes that every publisher had to consider, but the Religious Tract Society differed in one major way. It was dedicated to reaching its target audience, rather than simply selling its wares to any paying customer. This was why the Society produced the cheapest nonfiction series of the late 1840s. It was also why the Society was not content with the usual trade channels of distribution, but experimented with innovative methods of distribution that might be more likely to reach people who did not generally visit booksellers’ shops or read literary reviews. This determination extended to a concern about whether the publications would be comprehensible to their intended readers, and whether the Christian tone would be effective, and this shaped the way in which the Society approached the problem of obtaining manuscripts.

Keywords: science works; evangelical publishing; Religious Tract Society; nonfiction series; literary reviews; Christian tone

Chapter.  16834 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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