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The digital publishing communications circuit

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The publishing value chain has remained relatively consistent since the invention of the printing press. Robert Darnton’s influential model of the communications circuit of the book, which tracks how intellectual property circulated in eighteenth-century France, has been a largely accurate representation of the publishing industry until the late twentieth century. This article examines changes to the publishing industry, particularly as a result of the disruptions and disintermediations of the digital age, and proposes a re-drawing of the communications circuit for the twenty-first century. The research in this article was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council grant number AH/J01317X/1The Book Unbound: Disruption and Disintermediation in the Digital Age.
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Keywords: Darnton; Digital publishing; authorship; communications circuit; publishing; reading

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Stirling

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • Book 2.0 is a new, interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal which aims to publish articles and reviews on developments in book creation and design, (including the latest progressions in technology and software affecting illustration, design and book production). It will also explore innovations in distribution, marketing and sales, and book consumption, and in the research, analysis and conservation of book-related professional practices. Book 2.0 aims to provide a forum for promoting and sharing the most original and progressive practice in the teaching of writing, illustration, book design and production, and publishing across all educational sectors.
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