The Brand of Print

Marketing Paratexts in the Early English Book Trade


The Brand of Print offers a comprehensive analysis of the ways printers, publishers, stationers, and booksellers designed paratexts to market printed books as cultural commodities. This study traces envoys to the reader, visual design in title pages and tables of contents, and patron dedications, illustrating how the agents of print branded their markets by crafting relationships with readers and articulating the value of their labor in an increasingly competitive trade. Applying terms from contemporary marketing theory to the study of early modern paratexts, Andie Silva encourages a consideration of how print agents' labor and agency, made visible through paratextual design, continues to influence how we read, study, and digitize early modern texts.

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Andie Silva, Ph.D. (2014), Wayne State University, is Assistant Professor of English (York College, CUNY) and Digital Humanities (CUNY Graduate Center). Dr. Silva has published articles on early modern literature and digital humanities. Digital projects include the database Printed Paratexts Online.
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Transcription and Editorial Practice


1 “In Sundry Hands”: Patronage, Human Capital, and Print Agents as Tastemakers
 1 Cultural Capital and Luxury Consumption
 2 “My Present a Book”
 3 Quality Control
 4 Devotion as Prestigious Brand Identity
 5 Exclusive Popularity

2 “Read, Reape, and Returne”: Emotional Branding and the Profit of Reading
 1 Affective Marketing and Labour as Capital
 2 “My Paines and Charges”: Articulating the Labour of the Press
 3 “Purchase Praise”: Richard Jones’s Brand Personality

3 “Before thou begynneth to read”: Visual Consumption as Brand
 1 The Structure of Protestant Devotion
 2 Adam Islip’s Visual Signposting and Multimodal Designs
 3 Thomas Archer’s Visual Branding Strategies

4 “An Instrument of Iron”: Commodifying Gender and Devotion with Emotional Capital in Queen Elizabeth’s A Godly Meditation of the Soul
 1 Gendered Commodities: Religious and Emotional Capital
 2 Bale’s 1548 Edition: Commodifying the Religious Experience
 3 Religious Identity and Self-Marketing: James Cancellar’s 1580 Edition
 4 Religion in the Household: Thomas Bentley’s Monument of Matrons
 5 Seventeenth-Century Markets: The Capital of Household Devotion

5 “Printed in Utopia”: Marketing Genre across a Century
 1 Cultural Branding and Utopia
 2 Creating a National Brand: Abraham Vele, Thomas Creede, and Bernard Alsop’s Editions
 3 Generic Cultural Branding

6 Immaterial Labour, Mass Intellectuality, and the New Digital Agents
 1 Researching Paratexts and Print Agents
 2 Immaterial Labour, User-Experiences, and Credit Structures


All interested in Book History in early modern studies, and anyone concerned with marketing and advertising literature, as well as paratextual studies and print culture.