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  • 1. Henry 1Tyler HenryMrs. CorbettA.P. Literature17 November 2011 Publishing throughout the Ages: Barriers and Solution Publishing is a key component in the process of creating literature of any sort and hasbeen since the invention of written word. Publishing is defined as the business or actions of apublisher and to publish something is to distribute the item to sell or issue publicly(Dictionary.com). Unfortunately for authors, publishing has been hindered by barriers forcenturies by the inability of writers to publish their works en masse. However, wherever thereare barriers, there is also innovation and invention which improved upon methods to publish,such as the printing press. Now, in the age of information and the invention of the internet, thosepublishing barriers have become non-existent. The beginning of publishing started as the first books were created. While the exact timeof the first book is not known, some of the oldest examples are the clay tablets of ancientcultures like the Hittites or Sumerians, and the papyrus scrolls of the Egyptians (History ofPublishing). The oldest of these date back to more than five thousand years ago, many yearsbefore the technological era of the press. The use of paper-like materials would not actually beused until sometime in the first millennia BCE, and until then, clay or stone tablets would be thenorm (History of Publishing). While the people at that time did not have printing presses or theinternet to help create and distribute their texts, they had scribes, which were workers whose jobwas to copy entire texts onto another tablet or scroll. These scribes were highly regarded for theirwork and were usually in a priest or court officials with high social standings. However, thesescribes were not efficient as later invention would be, as it could take days or weeks to copy
  • 2. Henry 2these texts. Even these early forms of publishing contributed to the seeds of civilization, althoughthey were neither efficient nor inexpensive for the everyday man. Book writing progressed much from the record keeping of the Sumerians and Egyptianswith the Greeks and Romans, and with it came more practical publishing. The Greeks used theirpaper pragmatically; the Greek scrolls were seldom more than thirty feet in length which gavescribes an easier job than some of the lengthy scrolls of the Egyptians (History of Publishing).Plays and epics such as Homer’s Odyssey were recorded on scrolls like these. Greeks alsocreated one of the first alphabets with their books and used a generalized Greek language toallow for some of the common people to read these books (History of Publishing). The idiom“all roads lead to Rome” proves to be entirely true, as the Greek books would soon enter Romanculture and then be introduced to all of Europe, and with it publishing. The Romans would copythe Greeks way of publishing by using the papyrus but used Latin instead of Greek. Romans alsohad a number of libraries for use by the Roman scholars, as well as using scribes to copy both theLatin and Greek texts (History of Publishing). The Greek and Roman’s pragmatic approach toliterature would provide an easier way to publish as well as the start to an alphabet. Publishing in Europe began to get its much needed kick-start in the mid-fifteenth century.In Germany, Johannes Gutenberg created his masterwork invention: the printing press. Thisinvention would power the publishing industry for centuries. It is thought that just a half centuryafter its invention the amount of printed works in the world increased one thousand-fold (Historyof Publishing). With the ability to quickly and cheaply produce these texts, the entire industrychanged during this century. In the late fifteenth century, a printer was established in Romewhich resulted with “…the price of books in that city dropped 80 percent” (Printing andPublishing).The printing press quickly spread around from Germany to other countries, such as
  • 3. Henry 3Italy and France. The printing press would contribute even to the development of languages towhat they are today. Caxton, an early English publisher, provided the English language itsdevelopment in his translation of the Aeneid, and the French publisher Robert Estienne did thesame for his language through his dictionaries (History of Publishing). New forms of publishingare created during the mid-fifteenth century; however, being able to publish is still onlyaffordable or usable by the trained or the wealthy. After that kick start, any further innovation on the technique of publishing would take alengthy pause, but publishing would become a large industry during this period. From the mid-sixteenth century to sometime during the early nineteenth century, the press did not change toomuch from its original design, however, the publishing industry boomed. The large growth in themarket made creating books and publishing them a worthwhile investment; the value of booksmade in the eighteen twenties was assessed to be somewhere around two and a half milliondollars, and that value would increase by millions in the following decades (Fink). Largernumbers of books and presses were developed as the nineteenth century progressed; by the startof the American Civil War, there were thought to be over four hundred presses in America alone(Fink). Along with more interest in the industry, America brought new innovation to theimprovement drought since the sixteenth century. Isaac Adams, an inventor, created a new steampowered press which allowed for faster printing. In just one decade, Adams’s design wasimproved upon by Robert Hoe which made the printing lightning fast compared to the Gutenbergpress (Fink). While there was a hiatus in improvements for the press for a few centuries, theboom brought by the press enabled it to reach American shores and allowed for theimprovements made by American inventors.
  • 4. Henry 4 Growth of the book and publishing industry would not stop after the American Civil War,and would continue to grow into the twentieth century. From the late nineteenth century and intothe beginning of the twentieth, the population would grow and with it was a push for educationand literacy, causing a large growth in publishing. The amount of new books published duringthis time rose exponentially compared to the period before and was over six times the amount ofnew books published each year (Book Publishing). America proved to be a growing poweramong publishers, especially with their push for national literacy and education. In the laternineteenth century, the amount of education text books in America was greater than all of theeducation text books in Europe (Book Publishing). With the growth in America’s desire forliteracy, the publishing industry was once again growing to new heights. A few decades later, the book and publishing industry would hit another boom, and thepublishing process has become more accessible for individuals. This boom was caused by theelectric printer, which was able to print more quickly than it steam predecessor. The gross valuesof books during the late twentieth century increased over tenfold, with sales nearly reachingeighteen million dollars annually in the United States (Book Publishing Industries). During thistime, the publishing of children’s book overcame their problems, being an industry “…quiet,consistent segment of the market and were virtually ignored”, the accessibility and ease ofpublishing such books expanded the market and increased the gains from such books (BookPublishing Industries). While America’s publishing industry was booming, the UnitedKingdom’s industry was taking a dive due to a slower movement and an increase in paper. Evenin a modern age, paper is a concern for publishing in print and is increasing in price (Media andPublishing).
  • 5. Henry 5 Finally, in the last years of the twentieth century, the world enters into the Age ofInformation and the Internet is made for the use of all. With the Internet, there was a totalrevolution for all writers, from the untrained writer to the erudite professor. For example, thereare many sites which allow for scientists and teachers to communicate and question together as acommunity. One such site is “…arXiv.org… an online archive” which allows for physicists andmathematicians to discuss their research and project before any of it appears in the papers(Internet). These e-journals allow for access to these journals at any moment, and at such an easeusing the internet that they surpass the print journals (Harvey). Such sites have increased themomentum behind the scientific community and it shows how the internet has been used to helppublish the new research of scientists (Glass and Flanigan). It is incredibly easy for any authortoday to publish a book using the internet. The publisher does not have to pay to buy all thepaper and ink it would take to make print copies. There are many tools a computer has to helpthem as well and many different outlets for them to sell it on, such as an e-book. With the growthin the e-book sales since earlier this decade, e-books have become a viable means of publishingand making a profit (Electronic Publishing). The internet has allowed for a great potential inpublishing books for any sort of writer. The publishing industry had many barriers for both individuals and even companiesearlier in history due to both the cost and the inability to mass produce books. However, as thecenturies passed, the press, the computer, and the internet all contributed to the increase in asuccessful publishing industry as well as opportunity for anyone to write a book. The publishingbarriers have been solved with the invention of the internet now that everyone can publish theirown book.
  • 6. Henry 6 Works Cited“Book Publishing.” American History Though Literature 1870-1920. Ed. Tom Quirk and Gary Schranhorst. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006. 3 vols. American History through Literature. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 1 Nov. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3470800043&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w>.“Book Publishing Industries.” Encyclopedia of American Industries. Ed. Lynn M Pearce. 4th ed. Farmington Hills: Gale, 2005. 409-16. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3434500172&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w>.“Electronic Publishing.” Gale Virtual Reference Library. Ed. Jane A Malonis. Gale, 2002. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3405300166&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w>.Fink, Steven. “Book Publishing.” American History Through Literature. Ed. Janet Gabler- Hoover and Robert Sattlemeyer. Vol. 1. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006. 148-54. 3 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3450700039&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w>.Glass, Richard M, and Annette Flanagin. “Scientific Pulbishing.” Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Ed. Stephen G Post. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. Farmington Road: Macmillian Reference, 2004. 2401-7. 5 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 Nov. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3402500484&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w>.
  • 7. Henry 7Harvey, Melissa J. “E-Journals and E-Publishing.” Computer Sciences. Ed. Roger R Flynn. Vol. 4. New York: Macmillian References, 2002. 4 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 25 Oct. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3401200523&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w>.“History of Publishing.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2011. <http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article-9109461>.“Internet.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. < http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article-9109461>.“Media and Publishing.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2011. <http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article-255541>.“Printing and Publishing.” Renaissance: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Paul F Grendler. Vol. 4. Farmington Hills: Charles Scriberner’s Sons, 2004. 4 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 1 Nov. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3409200389&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w>.
  • 8. Henry 8Paper ID: 215498914Paper Title: Publishing throughout the Ages: Barriers and Solution AssignmentTitle: Senior Project Research PaperAuthor: Tyler Henry