Book Publishing: “Making Books” 1947 Encyclopaedia Britannica Films 11min
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“Writing, editing and mass production of books.”
NEW VERSION with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLYHw95Z5GE
Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information — the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning: originators and developers of content also provide media to deliver and display the content for the same.
Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works such as books (the “book trade”) and newspapers. With the advent of digital information systems and the Internet, the scope of publishing has expanded to include electronic resources, such as the electronic versions of books and periodicals, as well as micropublishing, websites, blogs, video game publishers and the like.
Publishing includes the stages of the development, acquisition, copyediting, graphic design, production — printing (and its electronic equivalents), and marketing and distribution of newspapers, magazines, books, literary works, musical works, software and other works dealing with information, including the electronic media.
Publication is also important as a legal concept:
– As the process of giving formal notice to the world of a significant intention, for example, to marry or enter bankruptcy;
– As the essential precondition of being able to claim defamation; that is, the alleged libel must have been published, and
– For copyright purposes, where there is a difference in the protection of published and unpublished works…
The process of publishing
Book and magazine publishers spend a lot of their time buying or commissioning copy; newspaper publishers, by contrast, usually hire their own staff to produce copy, although they may also employ freelance journalists, called stringers. At a small press, it is possible to survive by relying entirely on commissioned material. But as activity increases, the need for works may outstrip the publisher’s established circle of writers.
For works written independently of the publisher, writers often first submit a query letter or proposal directly to a literary agent or to a publisher. Submissions sent directly to a publisher are referred to as unsolicited submissions, and the majority come from previously unpublished authors. If the publisher accepts unsolicited manuscripts, then the manuscript is placed in the slush pile, which publisher’s readers sift through to identify manuscripts of sufficient quality or revenue potential to be referred to acquisitions editors for review. The acquisitions editors send their choices to the editorial staff… Unsolicited submissions have a very low rate of acceptance, with some sources estimating that publishers ultimately choose about three out of every ten thousand unsolicited manuscripts they receive.
Many book publishing companies around the world maintain a strict “no unsolicited submissions” policy and will only accept submissions via a literary agent. This shifts the burden of assessing and developing writers out of the publishing company and onto the literary agents. At these companies, unsolicited manuscripts are thrown out, or sometimes returned, if the author has provided pre-paid postage.
Established authors are often represented by a literary agent to market their work to publishers and negotiate contracts. Literary agents take a percentage of author earnings (varying between 10 to 15 per cent) to pay for their services…
For a submission to reach publication it must be championed by an editor or publisher who must work to convince other staff of the need to publish a particular title. An editor who discovers or champions a book that subsequently becomes a best-seller may find their own reputation enhanced as a result of their success…
Book publishers represent less than a sixth of the publishers in the United States. Most books are published by a small number of very large book publishers, but thousands of smaller book publishers exist. Many small- and medium-sized book publishers specialize in a specific area. Additionally, thousands of authors have created their own publishing companies, and self-published their own works.
Within the book publishing industry, the publisher of record for a book is the entity in whose name the book’s ISBN is registered. The publisher of record may or may not be the actual publisher…
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