THE PROFITS AND PERILS OF PUBLICITY: ALLGEMEINE LITERATUR- ZEITUNG, THE THURN UND TAXIS POST, AND THE PERIODICAL TRADE AT THE END OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

Notes and records of the Royal Society of London

PubMedID: 26495577

Broman T. THE PROFITS AND PERILS OF PUBLICITY: ALLGEMEINE LITERATUR- ZEITUNG, THE THURN UND TAXIS POST, AND THE PERIODICAL TRADE AT THE END OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. Notes Rec R Soc Lond. 2015;69(3):261-76.
Recent historiography on the growth of periodical publishing has emphasized newspapers and journals as constituents of an emergent communications system in early modern Europe. This system comprised the newspapers, journals and other publications that contributed its content, and also the postal systems that were the principal method of distributing that content. This article describes how the growth of this system in central Europe was supported in large measure by financial incentives that it offered to both constituents. First, in contrast with postal systems in France and the UK, the Thurn und Taxis Reichspost inserted itself as a middleman in the sale of periodicals, which gave the Reichspost an incentive to promote the trade. Second, the financial conditions for periodical publication made their costs depend more heavily on costs that were scalable to circulation than is true today, which resulted in the viability of publications with a lower circulation. The same cost structure also made it possible for certain prominent periodicals of the era to earn considerable profits for their publishers, as illustrated in this article by Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, which was published in Jena from 1785.