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HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON PUBLISHING

To understand present day publishing it’s useful to have a historical perspective. Publishing has always been associated with a mystical, religious, even an elitist quality. A large reason why is that for much of recorded history reading and writing was only done by a select few, usually religious men who copied manuscripts by hand. This went on for hundreds of years until the invention of the Gutenberg press, a device that revolutionized the transmission of knowledge. In 1440 a goldsmith named Johannes Gutenberg devised a hand mold to create metal movable type that enabled manuscripts to be printed at a much faster rate than ever before. Consequently, knowledge was transmitted farther and wider. Yet, books were still expensive, and reading and writing, while growing with the spread of universal education, were still rare skills. Publishing a book depended very much on whether the author’s ideas were accepted. The phrase “Gatekeepers,” those who allow certain books to be published, has been used often to describe the elitist environment within publishing. The 20th century saw an explosion of accessibility to books as paperbacks proliferated and people everywhere were discovering the joys of reading through mandatory education. The publishing field grew exponentially as names such as Simon & Schuster built empires on the backs of Jack London, H.G. Wells and many more. Yet with all this access, publishing a book was still difficult and, oftentimes, related to your social standing and connections. With the advent of the internet, desktop publishing, and E-books, the 21 st. century has seen an explosion of books on the market, 99% of which are poorly edited, badly formatted, and never marketed. Many of them are self published on LULU and CreateSpace. Publishing a book has never been easier, yet selling it is almost impossible. We take pride in helping the author deliver a beautiful book to the public. While the publishing pendulum has swung to the other extreme, where every book regardless of quality can find its way to the internet, we believe it is still important to pay attention to detail when it comes to producing a book. If we decide to work with an author, his/her project becomes our priority. From rough manuscript to the final polished product that goes through our 39,000 outlet distribution network, an author is sure to feel in good hands with Boulevard Books.