backlist

noun
back·​list | \ ˈbak-ˌlist How to pronounce backlist (audio) \

Definition of backlist

: a list of books kept in print as distinguished from books newly published

Examples of backlist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web A decade earlier, backlist titles comprised around half of all sales. New York Times, "What Snoop Dogg’s Success Says About the Book Industry," 18 Apr. 2021 The other four titles have sold between 216 and 470 copies—a respectable number for backlist, but nothing spectacular. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Dr. Seuss! Mr. Potato Head! Why the Culture Wars Have Never Been Dumber," 4 Mar. 2021 These concerns dovetail with another major trend in the book industry, an increasingly heavy reliance on two cash cows: bestsellers and backlist titles. Chad W. Post, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: The latest publishing mega-merger might kill off small presses — and literary diversity," 4 Dec. 2020 With many new books postponed, backlist sales boomed; this, too, created a printing problem, with publishers having to balance reprints with upcoming releases. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Barack Obama’s Memoir Is Set to Be the Biggest Book This Year," 18 Sep. 2020 Though there is growing consensus across the book industry about the need to diversify its offerings, including titles from its backlists, there have been moments of controversy about the best way to go about it. New York Times, "Penguin Classics and Others Work to Diversify Offerings From the Canon," 30 Mar. 2020 At this point, Persephone’s backlist runs to more than 130 titles, each of which is available at the store on Lamb’s Conduit Street — and each arranged, to my delight, in numerical order. Michael Hingston, Houston Chronicle, "London’s bookstores punctuate the city," 20 Sep. 2019 At this point, Persephone’s backlist runs to more than 130 titles, each of which is available at the store on Lamb’s Conduit Street — and each arranged, to my delight, in numerical order. Michael Hingston, Houston Chronicle, "London’s bookstores punctuate the city," 20 Sep. 2019 At this point, Persephone’s backlist runs to more than 130 titles, each of which is available at the store on Lamb’s Conduit Street — and each arranged, to my delight, in numerical order. Michael Hingston, Houston Chronicle, "London’s bookstores punctuate the city," 20 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backlist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backlist

1946, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of backlist was in 1946

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Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Backlist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/backlist. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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