Chapter

Routledge and the New Competition

in Steam-Powered Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226276519
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226276540 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226276540.003.0011
Routledge and the New Competition

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This chapter considers George Routledge as a man who would soon be virtually synonymous with railway publishing. Routledge, who would transform the public's expectation of cheap reading material, established a reputation in cheap literature by dealing in remainders, the stock that remained after a publisher had given up hope of selling any more copies. Both as bookseller and publisher, he pursued the strategy of high sales of cheap works, where the volume of sales would compensate for the small profit on individual items, and then became a master of boosting sales by marketing to different audiences. It is observed that Routledge and the new penny periodicals were simply building on techniques that W. & R. Chambers had been using for over a decade: Steam-powered printing, stereotyping, and cheaply acquired texts were the keys to literature for the masses.

Keywords: railway publishing; George Routledge; cheap works; marketing; Chambers; steam-powered printing; stereotyping

Chapter.  4430 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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