New Directions in Book History

Publishers, Readers, and Digital Engagement

Authors: Martens, Marianne

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About this book

This book demonstrates how the roles of “author,” “marketer,” and “reviewer” are being redefined, as online environments enable new means for young adults to participate in the books they love.
Prior to the expansion of digital technologies around reading, teachers, parents and librarians were the primary gatekeepers responsible for getting books into the hands of young people. Now publishers can create disintermediated digital enclosures in which they can communicate directly with their reading audience. 
This book exposes how teens contribute their immaterial and affective labor as they engage in participatory reading experiences via publishers’ and authors’ interactive websites and use of social media, and how in turn publishers are able to use such labor as they get invaluable market research, peer-to-peer recommendations, and even content which can be used in other projects  all virtually free-of-charge.

About the authors

Marianne Martens is Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University, USA. Her research covers the interconnected fields of youth services librarianship and publishing. Previously, Martens was vice president of North-South Books in New York. You can read more about her work at


“Marianne Martens looks at the recent trend among book publishers of creating participatory websites aimed at teenage readers. … one of the most important aspects of Martens’s work is providing future researchers with detailed descriptions of these three sites – how they functioned, who their target audiences were, what features they offered, et cetera.” (Christopher Doody, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, Vol. 55 (1), March, 2017)

“Marianne Martens’s Publishers, Readers and Digital Engagement offers fresh insights into digital reading through focusing on the role of both traditional and emerging digital gatekeepers. Martens’s case studies capture the complex lifespan of digital reading platforms and reveal the importance of affective labour in contemporary children’s and YA publishing” (Simon Rowberry, University of Stirling, UK)

Buy this book

Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Publishers, Readers, and Digital Engagement
Series Title
New Directions in Book History
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
Hardcover ISBN
Series ISSN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
XIX, 226
Number of Illustrations
14 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour