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Who Determines the Literary Market; the Authors, Publishers or Readers?

November 7, 2012

If are you an author, a publisher or reader, how has your experience been?  Have you asked yourself the question: ‘who determines the literary market-is it you, the reader, the author or publisher?’

Digress a bit, from our studies of economics; we are made to believe that there are four chains of production;

From the manufacturer to the wholesaler

From the wholesaler to the retailer

From the retailer to the final Consumer

In this order, the chains of production can be viewed as:

Manufacturer-Wholesaler-Retailer-Final Consumer. In fact, we are made to see that the process of production is not complete until it gets to the final consumer. We are also made to believe that the consumer determines the market. In fact, ‘customers’, the saying goes, ‘are always right’. However, who decides for the final consumer the quality of produced goods and services and at the long run decides the ‘actual’ market dynamics? The answers to these questions are analogous to the topic of interest.

Similarly, in the literary circle, the starting point of production of books begins with the author. Here, the author painstakingly conceptualizes certain strings of thoughts and ideas. Then, using a system of understood schematics, he arranges coherently the written out ideas in an accepted book format. He sends it to the publisher who rigorously reviews it. And if the author’s work gets accepted and a subsequent contract has been signed, the publication processes begin. An editorial team is assigned to develop the contents, correct observed grammatical blunders, delete and add, if necessary other materials towards a better quality.  Other processes such as designing, letterings, barcodes, printing and lithographs are employed at the discretion of the publisher FOR the general or specific audience.

The promotion, distribution, advertisement, book launch and sales take place.  The author is invited for book interviews, showcased in various billboards, publicized in different newspapers and magazines, principally participates launching of his book and goes on book tours. The publisher’s business acumen in spreading the publicity of the book through different on-line and off-line channels gives the giant book wholesalers (other international marketing agents) the push to make bulk purchases. Then, because of its popular demand ‘imposed’ on the general public, retail bookstores(on- and off-line) demand for it. The final consumer, also known as the reader, finally gets it.

In this format, we see that:  The Author to The Publisher, The Publisher to  The Giant Book Wholesalers and retail outlets, The Giant Book wholesalers to Retail outlets (on and offline channels), Retail Outlets to the final consumers.

To be realistic, it is up to you decide who really determines the literary market!


I want to use this medium to express my heartfelt congratulations to Barack Obama, his supporters , Americans and other peoples of the world as he enters another term of presidency. Many years of political posterity in America!

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