Проектная работа "Литература: искусство или бизнес?"

Разделы: Иностранные языки


  1. Введение – 3 стр.
  2. Основная часть – 4-8 стр.

How do the publishers and retailers know whether the book will make profit?
The results of the questionnaire.
Marketing (The Harry Potter stories are ideal for marketing).
Merchandising .

  1. Заключение – 8 стр.
  2. Библиография – 9 стр.
  3. Приложение – 10 стр.


Проблема: Вы никогда не задумывались над тем, что такое литература? Наверно, каждый второй скажет, что это искусство. Но, наблюдая за тем, как сейчас люди зарабатывают деньги на литературе, мы осмелились предположить, что литература – это самый настоящий бизнес.

Цель проекта: найти ответ на вопрос: «Когда литература является бизнесом, а когда искусством?»


  • изучить понятия «литература», «искусство», «бизнес»
  • установить связь понятия «литература» с понятиями «искусство», «бизнес»
  • на примере популярной серии книг о Гарри Поттере (автор Дж.К.Роулинг), провести анализ и сделать выводы по данной проблеме.

Методы исследования:

  1. Теоретические: подбор и анализ литературы (книг, статей, сайтов, посвященных данной тематике).
  2. Практические: мониторинг, обсуждение проблемы с педагогами, друзьями и одноклассниками, выявление мнений других людей, подготовка продукта проекта, создание презентации

Этапы исследования:

  1. обзор литературы, статей, работ;
  2. отбор информации, выбор методик для исследования
  3. проведение опроса к исследованию
  4. анализ, обработка результатов исследований;
  5. формулирование выводов и формирование собственной точки зрения на проблему, и способы её решения.
  6. подготовка презентации, практическое использование результатов исследования
  7. Приложение 1 .

Ход проекта

Основная часть

Definitions of the word literature tend to be circular. The Concise Oxford Dictionary says it is “writings whose value lies in the beauty of form or emotional effect.” The nineteenth-century critic Walter Pater referred to “the matter of imaginative or artistic literature” as a “transcript, not of mere fact, but of fact in its infinitely varied forms.” But such definitions really assume that the reader already knows what literature is. And indeed its central meaning, at least, is clear enough. Deriving from the Latin littera, “a letter of the alphabet,” literature is first and foremost mankind’s entire body of writing; after that it is the body of writing belonging to a given language or people; then it is individual pieces of writing. Literature is a form of human expression. But not everything expressed in words – even when organized and written down – is counted as literature. Those writings that are primarily informative – technical, scholarly, journalistic – would be excluded from the rank of literature by most, though not all, critics. Certain forms of writing, however, are universally regarded as belonging to literature as an art. Individual attempts within these forms are said to succeed if they possess something called artistic merit and to fail if they do not. The nature of artistic merit is less easy to define than to recognize. The writer need not even pursue it to attain it. On the contrary, a scientific exposition might be of great literary value and a pedestrian poem of none at all.

The best literature is the kind without a price tag. The goal of writing should not be to sell books, but to write the most innovative and exciting literature imaginable.

Look at all the endless varieties of music! It almost seems that there are as many kinds of music as there are drops of water in the ocean!

What a different story when you go to the bookstore! In the literature section of the bookstore you will find only novels, short stories, and poetry. That’s it! Why only novels, short stories, and poetry? Why is literature so limited? Why shouldn’t there be as many different kinds of literature as there are different kinds of music? Why must writers limit themselves only to novels, plays, short stories, and poetry? Why shouldn’t writers invent endless kinds of literature besides just novels, short stories, and poetry? It’s fine to write novels, short stories, and poetry – but why not invent new forms of literature as well?

One of the reasons literature is so limited is that it is still shackled to the major publishing conglomerates and the universities. Literature will not be free until it has unshackled itself from the crass commercial interests of the publishing conglomerates and the conservative influences of the universities.

Publishing houses have one and only one purpose: to make money. They are hostile to innovation in literature, because publishing innovative literature involves risk. And they certainly don’t want to risk their money! The publishing conglomerates want to continue pouring potential best sellers (particularly airport novels) unto the market. And to the publishing houses that are all literature is – a market.

When the publishers are offered a new book they ask themselves a number of very important questions. How well will the book sell? Is it good for advertising? Will the retailers like it? This is because both publishers and retailers see literature like this: books = product = profit.

Harry Potter is no exception. J.K.Rowling was only able to publish her first Harry Potter book because she found a publisher who thought that the book would make good profit.

How do the publishers and retailers know whether the book will make profit? Well, they know that most people’s choice of books is based on a combination of personal taste, recommendations from friends, previous reading and powerful marketing.

The commercial reality of publishing and retailing is that the book must be clearly and easily marketed.

Of course, not all writers want to be independent of the big publishing conglomerates. Many writers want to make big royalties, and the only way to do that is to write commercial airport novels. Of course, after the aspiring would-be airport novelist has actually written the commercial work he has to somehow get the attention of a literary agent, which is nearly impossible. If after writing the commercial work the writer is lucky enough to get a literary agent and then (hopefully) a publisher the would-be airport novelist is still not on easy street yet. After you sign the contract with the publisher the literary agent’s work is done, but the author’s headache is just beginning. Publishing conglomerates are notoriously stingy in putting resources and time into promoting their books. They publish LOTS of books every year – and they don’t have the time, resources, or inclination to adequately promote all their books.

You might have the most commercial book in the world, but if your book doesn’t receive any publicity than nobody will know about your book which means nobody buys it and your book will be out-of-print in a few years – which is what happens to most traditionally published books anyway.

Of course, you could max out your credit cards and take out loans to buy more publicity for your book – but this will more likely result in bankruptcy than a bestseller. The traditional publisher might offer to pay half of the publicity/promotion for your book if you pay the other half – but unless you want bankruptcy in your future you might want to be careful how much you put up for publicity.

When (and if) a traditional publisher signs up your book you might receive all kinds of promises about how they’ll promote your book. Take it all with a grain of salt. The person in the publishing house in charge of promoting your book is also in charge of promoting LOTS of books. And unless your name is Stephen King or John Grisham don’t expect the publicity of your book to be given much priority – especially if you’re a first time author. And if your first book doesn’t sell there’s a good chance that no publisher is going to want your second book.

By the way, don’t be surprised if the publishing conglomerate re-writes your book to make it more commercial.

The writer enjoys little independence. He is dependent on publishing corporations to help him reach a large audience seeking cheap entertainment. Hence, in order to make a living from his craft the writer often has no choice but to write mediocre and non-innovative “literature” that will be acceptable to conservative publishing conglomerates. In addition, since “success” is defined by how many copies are sold, the emphasis is on producing cheap mass entertainment.

So writing remains the most conservative, mediocre, and backward medium of the art world partly or mostly because of money. Another conservatising influence– another conservatising influence on the literary world is the whole prestige game. You get your work in certain prestigious “literary” magazines, get nominated for certain prestigious “literary” awards, etc. – and suddenly you’re considered a “great” writer/poet.

The pages of many (not all) of the most prestigious literary magazines are filled with excrement masquerading as great literature that doesn’t even qualify as mediocre – it’s just plain bad, conservative, and bland.

The contemporary writer/poet who wants literature to advance forward instead of being stuck in backwardness is inherently outside the literary world. He views the official literary world with contempt. He understands that the publishing conglomerates, academia, prestigious literary magazines, and award givers are mostly hostile to innovative literature.

The Harry Potter stories are ideal for marketing techniques used to sell the latest Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The book has two different covers, one for children and one for adults. On the 15th of January. J.K. Rowling announced the publishing date – the 21st of June, and said that she had ‘killed’ one of the main characters. However, she refused to say who it was, so that everybody had to wait for the publishing date to find out. As a result, Amazon, the largest online retailer, took more than 1.1 million advance orders across the world, making it the most pre-ordered book in history. Most bookshops and supermarkets opened their doors in midnight, the 20th of June, so that eager customers could finally buy the book and fine out what happened. The queues run for miles. Some people arrived more than 8 hours in advance!

Selling the books themselves is not the only way to make money. If you go to any bookshop in the United Kingdom, you will fine anything from books to T-shirts, cups, pens, pencils, CDs and toys to do with the current bestsellers. By doing so, the retailers and publishers create a brand. The same way as young people like being associated with Nike or Kickers, they are more likely to buy a book which has become a brand. And Harry Potter has lots of things that can be used to create a successful brand: Harry’s round glasses, broomsticks, witch hats, Hogwarts…


Does this mean that the publishers do not care what the books are? Of course not. The publishers want the books to be good. If the book is boring and the customers put it down after a chapter, the publisher will not make enough money. Authors are like pop stars, the publishers are like the record companies – they want to get a top hit. However, this means that only books that appeal to a very large group of people have a chance of getting published. More unusual literature, no matter how good it is, must be struggle to get published in a world where every publisher is looking for the next ‘Harry Potter’.


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  2. Газета The Moscow Times октябрь/2010
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