Male 1Elspeth MaleMrs. CorbettSenior Project Research Paper14 November 2011 The Development of Publishing “The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbors, kindle it athome, communicate it to others and it becomes property of all,” said Voltaire about the writtenword (“Voltaire Quotes”). The written word conveys so much meaning in today’s society, andin past societies, that it is no wonder immense emphasis is placed upon its publishing. Publishinghas flourished from the original hand written works of ancient civilizations to the electronicpublishing of today with many highs and improvements along the way. The true beginnings of publishing can be traced to Johannes Gutenberg in Germany in the1440s. Gutenberg devised a system that boiled down to “small metal pieces engraved with singlecharacters (letters) [that] could be arranged to form words and sentences” and therefore the firstprinting press was established (Dooley). The actual process to create the letters and the print wasquite complicated. A steel punch, which was used at the time to print coins, printed the letter intosoft metal. After this a metalworker would turn the prints into molds to be used to make theactual letters. Once this was accomplished a printer would line up the words they needed printed,smear them with ink, and press paper down on top of them (“Printing and Publishing”).This newsystem is considered as one of the most significant advancements in Western history. Nowwritten works could be spread and spread they did. Printing presses modeled after Gutenberg’s
Male 2appeared in Europe with dramatic results. “Literacy grew rapidly and knowledge spread asliterature became readily—and affordably—available to many people for the first time,”(“Johannes Gutenberg”). Ideas that originated with the Greeks and Romans were now spreadthroughout France, Spain and England. New information was continually updated to the publicas printing presses continued to be modernized. Second generation printers expanded upon the printing methods already in place in the1500s. Printing became more complex and sophisticated as time passed. “Publishers expandedthe number and type of illustrations in their works. Books often included woodcut illustrationsand decorative capital letters,” (Frost). Illustrations became important to sales. Though picturesno longer were the focal points of the text and its meaning, they helped to demonstrate importantvalues and themes in the text. However, making illustrations was expensive for the printer.Engravings first were made by wood and then evolved when copperplate was introduced.“Copperplate engravings revolutionized the trade because of their greater delicacy of detail,”(“Printing and Publishing”). With more pictures appearing, books became more appealing to themasses that perhaps may not be able to read. Thus books swept through all levels of society. Through the Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment printing established itself as amajor facet of society. “The Protestant Reformation was the first to spread by print and arguablyowed its success to the press,” (“Printing and Publishing”). The ideas of Martin Luther werespread by pamphlets all throughout Germany. He became well known and used publishing tobroaden his sphere of influence. The same process occurred during the Enlightenment. Becausepeople started to question the natural order of things, “the book became more significant because
Male 3it challenged the social, political, and cultural order,” (Cragin). The popularity of booksskyrocketed and would remain at that level for a long time. While printing experienced minor modifications in the 1600s and 1700s, once the 1800sarrived, dramatic improvements occurred. More durable presses made of iron and the newapplication of rollers and cylinders were invented and enhanced the quality of production(“Printing and Publishing”). All parts of the printing process began to be updated. Advancementsin the quality of paper were even made. “Inventors patented new machines in the earlynineteenth century that produced paper in continuous sheets rolled onto a large drum that wasthen fed through a high-speed mechanical printing press,” (Frost). With large increase in thenumber of books that could be produced it was no surprise when the industry began to boom. “InGermany, the number of employees in the printing trade increased 150 percent between 1849and 1875 and 600 percent by 1895,” (“Printing and Publishing”). Publishing became moreproductive than ever before. Production costs were also greatly lowered and there was a veritableexplosion of books into the market. With this new expansion came much broader genres asbooks continued to grow and change their meanings to society and the people that werepublishing them. One of the most drastic changes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in thepublishing industry was the increasing focus on profit. “Profits were more the editors concern aspublishing joined the many businesses controlled by enormous multinational corporations,”(“Printing and Publishing”). Publishing placed more emphasis on novels and formulaic plotseditors knew would earn money. While there were standouts in the literary world, many
Male 4publishers just wanted to find success in their chosen markets. A motto of the time could bequantity and not quality. Many believe this ideology had been carried into the twenty-firstcentury with the advent of electronic books and publishing which can be found in excess intoday’s society. The E-Book has become commonplace in present day society. By definition an E-Bookis, “a book that is accessed electronically via a personal computer (PC), a specially designed e-book reader, or a handheld device like a Palm Pilot,” (“E-Books”). Instead of a physical copy ofa book, people can now access them electronically. People also have greater exposure tothousands of selections. In order to access all of these assortments of books, one must have adevice to read these books, usually an E-Reader. An E-Reader is “a device created specificallyfor reading electronic text,” (Britton). Several versions of these are available today such as theKindle and the Nook. They are normally the size of a book, but much lighter. The advent of thisnew form of reading was a long time coming in the literary world. They first appeared in 1998with both NuvoMedia Inc. and Soft-book Press Inc. developing E-Readers for consumers.“Specific buttons allowed users to select either a landscape or portrait format, view the next orprevious page, and pull down various menu options,” (“E-Books”). These were very advancedfor their time and quickly attracted the interest of buyers. The next companies to join onto thisgrowing movement were Barnes & Noble and Microsoft. While there were glitches at first,companies were headed in the right direction and would soon attract major authors to the arena.Stephen King and Mary Higgins Clark allowed their books to be available electronically and
Male 5gave the entire system a boost (Peterson). With this success the electronic literary world showedno signs of stopping. Once E-Books started to show promise, companies were eager to expand their spheres ofinfluence. One of the main groups now being targeted is young children. It is believed “thattodays computer-savvy kids will be more receptive to books on screen,” (“E-Books”). Thethinking is books will seem more like television and movies this way so they will interest andhold children’s attention easily. Another group that is being targeted is students, specificallythose attending college. Publishing houses predict digital reference materials, professionaljournals, and reports are perfect resources to change to digital format (“Electronic Publishing”).With all of these new forms of reading emerging, publishing has had to keep up in the form ofelectronic publishing. Electronic publishing is the most recent advancement in the world of publishing.Electronic publishing follows along the same outline as regular publishing except for the endresult that is produced. The final form of an author’s work would now be publishedelectronically, whether that is through electronic publications of books, newspapers, magazinesor newsletters or perhaps just posted on the Internet (“Electronic Publishing”). It has nowbecome a common practice for authors to go as far as self-publishing themselves on the Internet.“Demand has grown exponentially” for this form of publication and it does not seem like it willbe slowing down anytime in the near future (Wyzalek). While demand was not as high asanalysts initially expected when electronic publishing was first introduced to the market, it hasgrown and is now one of the top growing businesses in the United States with a future that has
Male 6seeable no limits. The future is looking bright for publishing, editing, and literature around theworld.
Male 7 Works CitedBritton, Barbara. “E-books.” Computer Sciences. Ed. Roger R. Flynn. Vol. 4. New York City: Macmillan Reference USA, 2002. 76-78. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.Cragin, Thomas Cragin. “Printing and Publishing.” Encyclopedia of European Social History. Ed. Peter N. Stearns. Vol. 5. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001. 377-389. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.Dooley, Brendan. “Printing and Publishing.” Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. Ed. Jonathan Dewald. Vol. 5. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2004. 62-66. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.“E-Books.” Gale Encyclopedia of E-Commerce. Ed. Jane A. Malonis. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 228-230. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 17 Oct. 2011.“Electronic Publishing.” Gale Encyclopedia of E-Commerce. Ed. Jane A. Malonis. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 253-256. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.Frost, Randall. “Printing.” Gale Encyclopedia of Science. Ed. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. 4th ed. Detroit: Gale Group, 2008. Discovering Collection. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.“Johannes Gutenberg.” Renaissance and Reformation Reference Library. Ed. Julie L. Carnagie
Male 8 and Aaron Saari. Vol. 3. Detroit: UXL, 2002. 148-154. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.Peterson, Lorna. “Publishing Industry.” Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. Ed. Jorge Reina Schement. Vol. 3. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2002. 797-806. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 17 Oct. 2011.“Printing and Publishing.” Renaissance: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Paul F. Grendler. Vol. 4. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2004. 1-5. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.“Voltaire Quotes.” Liberty Tree. N.p., 2005. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <http://quotes.liberty- tree.ca/quote/voltaire_quote_312d>.Wyzalek, John. “Publishing Industry.” Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd ed. Vol. 6. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003. 536-540. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 17 Oct. 2011.