In 1472 the printers Sweynheym and Pannartz wrote a petition to Pope Sixtus IV: left with a large number of unsold printed books, they were now forced to ask for financial help or face utter failure. The advent of print changed the dynamics of supply and demand altogether. Some printers boomed while others quickly went bust. Pioneering merchants negotiated the book trade’s position within traditional labour market structures. Early printing entrepreneurial successes depended on the ability of printers and publishers to mould an author’s creation into a sellable article consumed by a wide community of readers.
This conference invites contributions on any facet of buying and selling in the early modern book trade: failures and successes of print ventures; strategies and ideas to increase the sales; rebinding, reprinting, reediting; cooperation and competition amongst booksellers; the day-to-day life of printing firms and bookshops; fairs and permanent markets; catalogues advertising stock and individual libraries being auctioned; taste and trends in the purchase of books; influence of censorship and regulations.
Co-organised by Shanti Graheli and Jan Alessandrini, the conference will take place 18-20 June 2015.
The papers given at this conference will form the basis of a volume in the Library of the Written Word.
The call for papers is now open. Those interested in giving a paper should contact Dr Jan Alessandrini (firstname.lastname@example.org) at St Andrews, offering a brief description of their likely contribution.
The call for papers will close on 30 November 2014.
A conference flyer can be downloaded here.