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Publishers Weekly Celebrates 150th Anniversary

by | Jan 20, 2022 | News

The US trade magazine Publishers Weekly is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and has unveiled a new birthday logo.  During the next 12 months it will be running articles from its archive and working on plans to host an in-person (“hopefully” it notes) party during the US Book Show in  New York in late May.

The first issue of the magazine was published on 18 January 1872 and mentioned topics that are relevant 150 years later.  It talked about “the copyright middle [that produces] a curious result – that American books should be first published and new American writers first find favour and fame on English soil, the rule holding also vice versa to a degree.”

It adds: ‘The London Bookseller has, of course, its say on copyright, and, referring to hitherto bases of settlement, concludes: “We do not despair of a solution if those who are most interested will set about it in a right spirit; we do not even despair of the American people agreeing to a fair and equitable International Copyright Act.  But if we were American we would not agree to become parties to any Act at present in existence; and if our authors or large publishers think they will be fools enough to do so, we ‘guess’ they’ll be disappointed.”

The UK Bookseller is even older, having been first published in January 1858.  It says something about the international publishing industry that these two venerable magazines are still in good health.  What changes they have both seen!

In its editorial last week, PW notes:  ‘PW  has a long history of being involved with innovation in the industry. After the creator of the magazine, Frederick Leypoldt, died at age 49 in 1884, a colleague, Richard Rogers Bowker, became an important figure for  PW. Bowker was the founder of the R.R. Bowker Co., and after Leypoldt’s death, he became  PW’s owner. Years later, when  PW  was still part of Bowker, the company developed Books in Print and created and assigned ISBNs.

The magazine concludes: ‘Though  PW  has gone through numerous owners and expanded well beyond a single print magazine, we still remain dedicated to providing all segments of the book publishing community with the resources they need to succeed. We look forward to continuing to work with you in the years ahead.’

Nasher extends its congratulations to the magazine and wishes it well in the years to come.

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