At its most basic level, the word “marketing” refers to the “action of buying or selling” (Oxford English Dictionary [OED]) and always implies some sort of exchange, usually involving goods, services, or ideas—and money. A common usage of “marketing” that directly affects children’s literature is “the action, business, or process of promoting and selling a product” (OED). Since the advent of the printing press, literature has been intimately related to marketing. It is self-evident that developing technologies made widespread literacy possible; what may take some explaining is that marketing is as essential to the development and dissemination of children’s literature as technology was.

“Marketing” is a term that arouses both suspicion and admiration. John Clarke in New Keywords (2005) explains that “a certain ambivalence persists towards markets. Perceived as necessary, they are not to be trusted. . . . This creates a sense of refusal—the …

This essay may be found on page 146 of the printed volume.

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