Book Publishers

Written by Will Baum
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Book publishers that can and will print your book for you are quickly gaining momentum in the publishing marketplace. It wasn't long ago that, if you had a book you wanted to see in print, you had to rely upon the major publishing houses or on expensive self-publishing services. The former were nearly impossible to have success with. The latter manufactured wood and leather bound books which were meant more for display than for reading.

Happily, that is all changing. Writers are no longer in the old trap. Today, book publishers offer inexpensive rates for printing high-quality books. Publishing on demand has emerged as the new direction of publishing in the 21st Century.

Book Publishers Past

It wasn't that long ago that monks were copying books line by line. Printing presses had not yet been invented. There were no such things as book publishers. Making copies of books was intense and laborious work. To make things more difficult for themselves, the book-copying monks would often add intricate artwork to the books they were creating. The books they worked on are now viewed as art more than as literature.

Book publishers as we know them began to emerge after the invention of the printing press. At first, printing presses were used for Bibles. Newspapers and newsletters followed. Novels and non-fiction books like those we have become accustomed to followed not far behind. Some early novels, like those of Charles Dickens, appeared first in installments in periodicals, then under one cover, complete.

Eventually, by the 20th Century, book publishers had grown into the massive companies. Printing presses became efficient enough that books could be run by the thousands and distributed to the far ends of the globe. Marketing and distribution became so effective that a bestseller, like Former President Bill Clinton's memoirs, could sell 700,000 copies in a single week.

Book Publishers Future

But the rise of book publishers as big business came with a cost. Writers who could be counted on to sell only modest amounts of books began to be neglected and ignored. Soon the giant book publishers were dropping such writers from the rosters.

These writers joined the thousands of people with books under their arms that the major publishers, focused as they were on the bottom line, didn't want to take a chance on. The publishers' wasteful business model, printing thousands of books and hoping for a bestseller, made the risk of the unknown too great. With just a few flops in a row, a major publisher could be ruined.

But there is a happy ending to the saga. Small-run and on demand book publishers stepped into the breach. Today, digital storage and printing make it possible for these companies to produce high-quality books at a fraction of the cost the major publishers spend. With publishing on demand, books are printed and shipped only after an order is placed. The needless distribution of unrequested books is eliminated, along with all the associated spending. Book publishing has now become something that almost anyone can afford to participate in. Writers are once again in control of not only of what they write, but how it is published.


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