Patronage by Subscription

In eighteenth century England, one way of paying for a book to be published was "by subscription," a process very much like a modern Kickstarter. Rather than relying on the publisher, the author, or a wealthy patron to invest in a book all at once, the cost of production was distributed across dozens or hundreds of "subscribers," who would often be thanked in a list of all the subscriber's names within the book itself. In this project, I am interested in how subscription publishing was used by authors who might otherwise encounter systemic barriers to publishing in the eighteenth century, especially Black Britons and women writers.