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Long tail

The notion that sales of an item need never completely disappear provided stock is available and its existence is known; there is an infinitely ‘long tail’ to the sales curve. Hence, with the advent of the Internet and print on demand, small sales of backlist titles can be a significant income source for publishers.

Concept first developed by Chris Andersen, editor of Wired magazine. Original article there later developed into a high-level book.

This definition is extracted (and expanded on) from the book Getting Published: A Companion for the Humanities and Social Sciences by Gerald Jackson and Marie Lenstrup.

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