PUB 450: The Business of Book Publishing

This guide is a starting point for library research required for the PUB 450  assignments. You can also refer to the main Publishing Research Guide for more resources.

If you need help, please contact Matt Kingcroft, Librarian for Interactive Arts & Technology and Publishing at 778.782.7588 or or Ask a librarian.

Publishing for profit : successful bottom-line management for book publishers, 5th edition (2014), by Thomas Woll (available online via the SFU Library).

Also available in print.

    Key resources

    Quill and Quire 
    The foremost magazine for Canadian publishing news. Available in print at Belzberg and Fraser libraries. We also have access to Quill & Quire Omni for the latest Canadian book industry news.

    Publishers Weekly
    US publishing industry magazine.

    The Bookseller
    UK publishing magazine.

    Canadian Newsstream 
    This database offers access to the full text of over 350 Canadian newspapers.

    Finding books about publishing

    It can sometimes be tricky to find books that are about publishing through the Library catalogue. This is because almost everything in the catalogue includes the words publisher or publishing. When you do a keyword search, you may find a lot of things that are not really about publishing.

    The best way to avoid this is to search using Subject Headings (or Subjects). These are standardized words or phrases that are attached to books and articles and describe what the item is about / what subject it is on. 

    Finding subject headings

    To search for subject headings, start at Advanced Search. Select Subject from the Any Field box and type in a possible subject heading.

    You can also find subject headings by looking at books or articles that you already know and seeing what subject headings they have been assigned. For example, the textbook Publishing for Profit has the subject headings Publishers and Publishing -- Management and Publishers and Publishing -- Finance. Clicking on either of these will bring you to a list of other titles with the same subjects. 

    Here are a few subject headings related to publishing:

    Business and industry research

    CARD Online (Canadian Advertising Rates and Data) 
    Advertising rates and related data are available on every significant medium in Canada. Includes magazines, newspapers, radio and television stations and other advertising media.

    Business Source Complete 
    One of the top databases for business research. Includes thousands of business journals, industry magazines, and industry & market reports.

    Portal that provides access to proprietary and freely available research reports and statistics on a wide range of topics, including the book publishing industry in various countries. Search for keywords like books and publishing or browse through subtopics of interest from the Books & Publishing industry page. Make sure to check the "Sources" section to see where any statistics originate; you can follow this information to get more context on the numbers and potentially other relevant information.

    Analysis of Canadian, US, Chinese and global industries providing insight into current and future industry performance, changing trends, operating conditions and supply chain linkages.

    Ipsos News Center 
    Contains survey-based reports written by Ipsos research professionals in North America and around the world.

    Business Plans Handbooks 
    This series has examples of real business plans from entrepreneurs in various small industries. Sample search: Publisher

    The Small magazine handbook series has books on advertising, management, and financial issues, all from Magazines Canada

    Other texts of interest

    These books are also recommended: 

    •  The Art of the Book Proposal [print]
    •  At Random [print]
    •  Book Business: Publishing, Past, Present and Future [print]
    •  Book Design [not at SFU Library]
    •  Books, The Culture & Commerce of Publishing [print]
    •  The Book Publishing Industry [online] [print]  
    •  Culture And Commerce Of Publishing in the 21st Century [print]
    •  Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader [print]
    •  Form of the Book, Essays on the Morality of Good Design [print]
    •  Inside Book Publishing [online] [print]
    •  On Writing, Editing, and Publishing: Essays Explicative and Hortatory [print]
    •  Making the List: A Cultural History of the American Best-Seller [print]
    •  Merchants of Culture: the publishing business of the twenty-first century [online] [print]
    •  On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft [print]
    •  The Perilous Trade: Book Publishing in Canada, 1946–2006 [print]
    •  Stet: An Editor’s Life [print]

    Style guides

    The Library publishes many citation style guides, including Chicago/TurabianAPA, and MLA.