Thanks to a proliferation of affordable software tools, Internet-enabled apps and helpful resources, authors no longer have to rely on a big publisher to get their books to market. There are now quick and relatively inexpensive options for getting books made.
That hasn’t always been the case, of course. Printing and binding books used to be an incredibly resource-intensive task. And when I say incredibly, I mean incredibly.
I’m not even talking about monks copying and illustrating manuscripts by hand. That was long, hard work too. But no, I’m talking about what it was like to produce a book less than 100 years ago.
Take a look at this 1947 Encyclopedia Britannica film called Making Books. It walks you through the process of book production from typesetting to finished product.
I count no less than 25 people and 12 massive machines involved in the creation of one book. That doesn’t even include the dipping tanks, compositing tables, table saws and motorized dollies that are also needed. No wonder book publishing was the exclusive domain of big companies for so long.
If you ever get down about how hard it is to be an author today, remember this film and how much technology has revolutionized book publishing. In the 21st century, authors face many challenges but thankfully producing a book isn’t one of them.