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Journal cover: Arts Marketing: An International Journal

Arts Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 2044-2084

Online from: 2011

Subject Area: Marketing

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And then we come to the brand: academic insights from international bestsellers

Document Information:
Title:And then we come to the brand: academic insights from international bestsellers
Author(s):Stephen Brown, (Ulster Business School, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK)
Citation:Stephen Brown, (2011) "And then we come to the brand: academic insights from international bestsellers", Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 1 Iss: 1, pp.70 - 86
Keywords:Books, Fiction, Marketing strategy, Narratives
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/20442081111129888 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The literary world is an elitist enclave, where anti-marketing rhetoric is regularly encountered. This paper aims to show that the book trade has always been hard-nosed and commercially driven.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper is less a review of the literature, or a theoretical treatise, than a selective revelation of the commercial realities of the book business.

Findings – The paper shows that the cultural industries in general and the book business in particular were crucibles of marketing practice long before learned scholars started taking notice. It highlights the importance of luck, perseverance and, not least, marketing nous in the “manufacture” of international bestsellers.

Research limitations/implications – By highlighting humankind's deep-seated love of narrative – its clear preference for fiction over fact – this paper suggests that marketing scholars should reconsider their preferred mode of research representation. Hard facts are all very well, but they are less palatable than good stories, well told.

Originality/value – The paper makes no claim to originality. It recovers what we already know but appear to have forgotten in our non-stop pursuit of scientific respectability.

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