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Backlist and Frontlist

The backlist (sometimes alternatively written as “back list”) is a term that originated in the book publishing industry and refers to older, established titles that are still available from the publisher. This is in contrast to the frontlist (or “front list”), which consists of new best-selling titles. An appropriate mix of both backlist and frontlist book titles and authors has always been essential to the long-term survival and prosperity of the publishing business, although the precise proportions of that mix differ to some extent depending upon the individual companies, their priorities, and the subject areas covered by their book titles. Innovations and changes in relevant law, retailing, and technologies have also altered the mix. In addition, technological innovations and the advent of the digital age ...

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