A partwork is a written publication released as a series of planned magazine-like issues over a period of time. Each issue is released on a weekly or monthly basis, and often a completed set is designed to form a reference work on a particular topic. In addition, completed partworks have been used to create case-bound reference works/encyclopedias. Some examples are: the multi-volume "Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedia" which was created from the "How It Works" partwork and the multi-volume "Mysteries of Mind, Space and Time" which was created from "The Unexplained" partwork.

In short, a partwork is a series of magazines that are collected on a regular basis, either weekly or fortnightly, to build a fully illustrated and comprehensive work of reference. Partwork series run for a determined length and have a finite life. Generally, partworks cover specific areas of interest, such as sports, hobbies, or children's interest and stories such as the successful "The Ancestral Trail" series by Marshall Cavendish Ltd. They are generally sold at newsagents, usually occupying a complete shop magazine display of around 80 or more at a time but usually this drop to 3 or 4 per week by issue 3 or 4 and are mostly supported by massive television advertising campaigns for the launch. Partworks often include cover-mounted giveaways with each issue that build into a complete set over time. For example, a partwork about art might include a small number of paints or pencils that build into a complete collection; a partwork about dinosaurs might include a few replica bones that build a complete model skeleton at the end of the series; a partwork about films may include a DVD with each issue. In Europe, partworks with collectable models are extremely popular; there are a number of different publications that come with character figurines or diecast model vehicles.

In the United Kingdom, partworks are usually launched by heavy television advertising each January. DeAgostini, Eaglemoss, GE Fabbri, Marshall Cavendish,, Midsummer Books Ltd/Aerospace Publishing Ltd: [] and Del Prado are prominent publishers. A common inducement is to heavily discount the first one or two issues. The same series can be sold worldwide in different languages and even in different variations.

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  • Partwork — Part|work [ pɑ:twə:k] das; s, s <aus gleichbed. engl. amerik. partwork, eigtl. »Teilwerk«> in Lieferungen od. Einzelbänden erscheinendes Buch bzw. Buchreihe (Buchw.) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • partwork — noun A written publication released as a series of pre planned magazine like issues over a period of time, distributed through the same channels as magazines …   Wiktionary

  • Partwork — Part|work 〈[pa:(r)twœ:k] n. 15〉 in Teillieferungen erscheinende Buchreihe, Zeitschrift o. Ä. [<engl. part „Teil“ + work „Arbeit“] * * * Part|work [ pɑ:twə:k], das; s, s [engl. part work, eigtl. = Teilwerk] (Buchw.): Buch o. Ä., das nach u.… …   Universal-Lexikon

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