Could you please help me solve the following question?

  1. The trade in scientific literature in nineteenth-century Germany was so robust that the publisher constantly worried about (i) ________ of new titles, an anxiety that gave even relatively undistinguished authors, who made their living writing technical treatises, (ii) ________.

   (i) choices:        (ii) choices:

    A. prices           D. limited public relevance
    B. supplies         E. enviable scholarly credentials  
    C. embargoes        F. strong bargaining positions

The answer given for blank (i) is option B, and the answer given for blank (ii) is option F.

I am just wondering why option A is ɴᴏᴛ correct. What's wrong with saying prices there?

  • It is not supposed to be "embargoes". It is supposed to be "supplies". The publishers were eager to get new titles (supplies), which gave the authors strong bargaining positions. If the trade was "robust", publishers would not be worried about prices, since they could easily sell them. – GEdgar Jan 18 at 18:55
  • @GEdgar why A is not correct? – Sina Jan 18 at 18:57
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the correct answer is about nineteenth-century Germany, not the English language – CJ Dennis Jan 25 at 9:09

The publishers would only be worried about the prices of publications if the market was weak, if the market was robust they would be able to sell almost anything at a profit. The problem the publishers faced was finding enough material to satisfy the demand. The situation was something like the market in internet businesses in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Almost anything could be sold whether it had much real merit or not.

  • Thanks for you answer. – Sina Jan 18 at 19:05
  • The publishers have to pay for the rights to new titles. So higher prices would eat into their profit margins (and/or require them to raise their own prices, reducing sales). – Acccumulation Jan 18 at 22:27

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