How the Book Industry Used to Work and How it Works Now

When I was still “just” a reader, (I’m still a reader, it’s just not all I do anymore), I used to marvel at what I thought were the complexities of the publishing


I mean, how did they figure out what stories to publish? How did they set up the type in books so it was perfect? (There were a lot less typos back then, and I was a lot less knowledgeable, too). And I used to wonder about really weird stuff, like, why there were sometimes one, two or more blank pages at the back of the book. Why did the type sometimes look a bit stretched out or a bit squished? (I always figured it was a printing fault. It’s not, by the way.)

I also figured that writers who published books were a different species. It never occurred to me that one day I could be published. As for doing all the publishing myself, well, that was cloud cuckoo land.

I have a large curiosity bump. You may have noticed.

Since then, all my “big” questions about publishing have been answered. A stint working as a project manager for North America’s biggest printshop, another as a national magazine editor, and even one in advertising (very short), and I’ve managed to pick up a lot about the behind-the-scenes of publishing and printing. I’m just filling in gaps these days.

When I read Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s post, it occurred to me that there’s a lot of gap filling in it. It’s an interesting review of the history of publishing, and it’s not uncomfortably long, either. Kristine has a long and distinguished science fiction pedigree.

If you like catching glimpses of behind-the-scenes stuff in any industry or profession, then you will enjoy the post. It’s written with authors in mind, but it’s very general and readers will like it too.

The process of getting a book into your reader hands has never been exactly straightforward. Click here to read the post.