Genevieve Fosa on Authors Community provides us with valuable and interesting information about the History of Indie Publishing. Thank you Genevieve.
In the 1700s, when the notion of publishing was still developing, and libraries were hardly ever thought of, except by a few scholars, a publisher consisted of someone who had the enterprise and the funds to purchase a printing press. He generally did this in order to publish newspapers and pamphlets. Sometimes he would take commissions to print books. Monthly magazines did not become popular till the mid-1800s.
Selling his wares often depended on hiring salesmen to carry the goods into the village and beyond, hoping to reach as many people as they could. These early salesmen and authors did not have to compete with either television or the internet, so people depended on these publications for their entertainment. Many people enjoyed reading out loud to their families.
Some enterprising printers added storefronts to their enterprises, where they could sell the fruits of their presses. These were the first bookshops and reading rooms. These printers were by and large selling to their local communities. Writers who became famous had to be able to pay for the printer’s services, and then sell their books. I am certain that many books languished and were forgotten, because their authors did not realize that along with writing, they had to go out and entice people to read their work. This was why publishing stories and poetry in newspapers that already had a circulation was so attractive to many writers.
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