Beyond traditional publishing models: An examination of the relationships between authors, readers, and publishers

Jen (J.L.) Pecoskie (School of Library and Information Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA)
Heather Hill (Faculty of Information and Media Studies, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 11 May 2015



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the state of contemporary publishing, specifically the realms of fanfiction and self-publishing, for the ways in which readership is represented in conjunction with authors and publishers within the publication process. The structure of this process is then compared with Robert Darnton’s communications circuit in order to propose a new model for the publication. As the publication process has a profound impact on the teaching and practice of collection development and reader studies in LIS, the discipline must be aware of any changes to the publication process.


Using the case study approach, this research examines the cultural product, Fifty Shades of Grey (FSOG). Evidence included fanfiction and self-published manuscripts, reader reception of these texts, and a timeline of how the texts developed.


Evidence gathered from the case study illustrate a variety of players and infrastructure present in the development and trajectory of FSOG. Throughout the entire development of the cultural product, readers were found to be active agents in the publication process promoting strong connections between reader and author. Findings focus on the themes of textual development and their publicity.


Proposes a new model for the publication process that includes fanfiction and self-publishing.



Sincere thanks are extended to Research Assistant Sara Rizor (SLIS, WSU) for her tireless efforts and searching expertise.


Pecoskie, J.(J).L.). and Hill, H. (2015), "Beyond traditional publishing models: An examination of the relationships between authors, readers, and publishers", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 71 No. 3, pp. 609-626.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.