Anna Cates Mark Twain and Subscription Publishing: A Profitable Affair


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Inhaltsangabe zu „Mark Twain and Subscription Publishing: A Profitable Affair“ von Anna Cates

Mark Twain was interested in writing as a way of making money and gaining fame and popularity. He relied unscrupulously upon subscription publishing as a way of bolstering the sales of his books. Subscription books were sold before publication and relied upon a good prospectus and a successful sales agent, who was trained to use various tactics to get people to agree to buy. Publicity and promotional techniques were also important to the venture. Letters between Twain and his publishers reflect his zeal for his books’ sales, his own cooperative marketing techniques and strategies, and the nature of the subscription publishing industry itself that Twain so heavily relied upon. Ironically, however, in his letters Twain admitted that very few books sold by subscription had any literary merit. Yet his desire to make money and be paid his promised due kept him eagerly involved in the industry. Eventually, Twain began his own publishing company, but subscription sales remained the starting point that had helped him first emerge in the writing business.
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