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market was there, and the potential for filling the demand, but the transport and control and "advertising" mechanisms were not in place.

In addition, there was still a low literacy rate in Europe. Most people did not know how to read at all. But non-literates were still affected by the book trade because the elites, who controlled society, were affected by books. And people who could not read still had access to book culture because there were traveling raconteurs who stood in the market and read from books as a means of making a living as entertainers.

3.1.1 Four Important Periods in the History of the Book

1.7th to 13th Century

This is the era of religious publications; the age of religious "manuscript" book production when Bibles and other religious publications were made. Books in this period are entirely constructed by hand, and are largely religious texts whose creation is meant as an act of worship.

2.13th to 15th Century

This is the era of secular book production; the secularization of book production. Books are beginning to be produced that do not serve as objects of worship, but that try to explain something about the observable world. The difficulty with the spread of such knowledge is that production is still taking place via pre-print - manuscript - methods. The production of secular books was driven by two things:

a.The rise of universities in Europe, spreading from Italy.

b.The return of the crusaders in the 13th century, who brought with them texts from Byzantium. These books, written during the Greek and Roman periods in history, focused on this-world concerns.

3.15th to 16th Century

The first printed books. These are print versions of traditional works like the Bible, books of hours (prayer books) and the religious calendars.

4.16th to 17th Century

New information is put into books that have important consequences for European life and society.

3.1.2 Definition of Book Paper


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Paper is a general term used to describe a type of paper suitable for printing, especially offset printing. Below are more specific definitions of various kinds of book paper.

Book Paper

This can have many different finishes and may be coated or uncoated. Premium book paper is also called Bible grade. More opaque than bond paper and good for 2-sided printing, book paper is also characterized by excellent folding qualities and durability. Book paper has a basic size of 25" x 38" and the basis weights range from 22 to 150 lbs. Offset papers are especially suitable for offset printing due to increased resistance to water and picking.

Bible Paper

This is a thin, lightweight, opaque printing paper with a basic size of 25" x 38". It is generally made from 25% cotton and linen rags or flax in combination with chemical wood pulp. Bible paper typically has a long life. Bible paper is a premium grade of book paper. The name of Bible paper comes from it being the type of paper commonly used for Bibles.


It is an inexpensive paper made primarily of mechanically ground wood pulp rather than chemical pulp. Newsprint has a shorter lifespan than other papers but is cheap to produce in bulk and is the least expensive paper that can withstand normal printing processes. Newsprint has a basic size of 24" x 36". Newsprint is the type of paper used for newspapers and may also be used for comic books, some newsletters and trade magazines and buy/sell/trade classified ad weeklies.

Cover Paper

Is the term for a heavy, stiff paper with a basic size of 20" x 26". Some cover paper may have matching book paper with the same colours and finishes. It is also known as card stock. Cover paper is used for book covers, file folders, presentation folders, greeting cards, business cards, postcards, and brochures.


This book in your hand is made up of which paper? Give reasons for your answer.

3.2Understanding Book Publishing and its Terminology


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3.2.1 Understanding Book publishing

Book Publishing could be defined as a professional activity involving the selection, development and editing of manuscripts; contractual agreements with authors or copyright holders; production and marketing of printed books under the firm's imprint; and the assumption of the risks associated with these activities.

Wikipedia (online dictionary) defines publishing as the process of production and dissemination of literature or information – the activity of making information available for public view. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers. Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works such as books (the "book world") 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 websites, blogs, games and the like.

Publishing includes the stages of 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.

3.2.2 Book Publishing Terminologies


Is the person, organization, or company that finances the book and controls the editing, designing, printing, and marketing of it. The publisher is the risk taker and owns the physical books. Money flows in one direction and one direction only: from the publisher to the author, normally in the form of royalties on sales.


This is when the author doubles as the publisher. Authors who choose to self-publish do so because they want more control over the process, or because they can (with certain kinds of books) make more money than they would receive in royalties if someone else published it. Of course some have to self-publish because they can’t find someone else willing to publish their work. If you are paying for the production and printing of your book, you are the publisher. Anyone else involved, regardless of what they refer to themselves as, is merely a contractor.



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A book producer handles any or all aspects of putting a book together and getting it printed. This includes editing, design, typesetting, scanning and image preparation, digital page composition, obtaining printer quotes, and working with the printer. Often the publisher performs these functions, but there are companies, such as Fox Meadow, that produce books for other publishers (including self-publishers) on a contract basis. Many book publishers with in-house design and production staff will also produce books on the side to bring in some guaranteed income. The important thing to remember here is that the producer doesn’t own the books. The publisher does: he paid for them. After they are printed, the books are delivered to the publisher, who handles marketing and distribution and receives all income from sales.

Vanity Publishers

A vanity publisher is a company that puts out books under its own imprint but actually requires authors to pay the entire cost of production

— in advance. The royalty rate to the author may be higher than what true publishers pay, but of course, having all its money up front, such a firm has little incentive to market a book, and you may see little return. You may also have trouble getting possession of the books. Beware! Self-publish instead. It will probably cost less, you’ll be in complete control, and you’ll get all the revenue.

Subsidy Publishing

This is a grey area between true publishing and vanity publishing. Here the author makes a contribution to the cost of publishing the book. Although the author and the publisher are really co-publishers, usually only the publisher’s imprint appears on the book. The author normally receives a higher royalty than in the true publishing model, but without knowing exactly what the publisher’s actual costs for producing and marketing the book are, it is a safe bet that the publisher will establish a royalty that short-changes the author. If you as an author wants to participate in a subsidy publishing arrangement, get all the facts you can and make sure you have a detailed contract.

The Printer

Is he who prints and usually binds the book. At one time, publishers had their own presses. Today, most book printing is done by specialized book manufacturers who have no other involvement in the project other than providing technical advice on how to prepare material for them. You pay them to print it. Some printers provide design and typesetting services as well. Generally, specialized book manufacturers provide


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better pricing and more options than general commercial printers can on a book.

Book Distributor

Is the one who acts as the link between publisher and retailer in cases where the publisher does not want to be involved in shipping books and collecting money from retailers. The distributor receives orders from retailers, ships books, invoices and collects revenue, and handles returns. This is normally done on a commission basis. It is quite a costly service, but almost essential for a small publisher who wants to sell books in stores all across the country, or in a different country. Some large book retailers unfortunately will not even purchase books directly from small publishers. A distributor usually handles books from several publishers. Large national publishers may do their own distribution, or own a separate distribution company. The publisher is still responsible for marketing the book that is, creating a demand for it through advertising, promotion, author tours, etc. The distributor merely fills the resulting orders.

Book Pack

Is an eligible trade book packaged and sold together with a non-book item, such as a CD or a toy. Exception: books sold with a CD inside the cover that is not visible from the outside are not considered book packs, but as regular books.

Children's Book

A trade book published for the children's or young adults' markets, including picture books, easy-to-read books, chapter books and young adult books. Educational books intended for elementary school students are also considered children's books.


Is a joint financial investment by two or more publishers to conceive, produce and print, under their respective imprints, individual titles or collections to be sold in their respective markets. Provided all other eligibility criteria are satisfied, co-published books are eligible, but applicants may claim as eligible sales only their portion of the total revenue. The partner publisher of the applicant may be foreign-owned.

Educational Book


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Are instructional materials, such as textbooks, teachers' guides and eligible learning kits designed for the primary, secondary or postsecondary school markets.

New Edition

Is the publication in modified form of a book previously published by the same or a different publisher. In contrast with a new title, a book is considered a new edition if more than 50% of its content is taken from the previously published book. In contrast with a reprint, a new edition must have at least one of the following: substantial changes in the format or binding; reformatting of at least 50% of the text; either substantial changes to at least 25% of the original written content or at least 25% new written content; or substantial changes to the illustrations, other than on the cover.

Non-Print Material

Are audiotape, audio CD, CD-ROM, e-book, or similar product.

Own Titles

Are titles for which the publisher holds publication, development and marketing rights for its own market.

Reference Year

Is the publisher's financial year that its Aid to Publishers application is based on and which is used to complete the application form.

Scholarly Book

A book based on research that makes a significant contribution to the development of knowledge in a given field and is subject to peer review prior to publication. Together with trade books and educational books, scholarly books are one of the three Book Publishing Industry Development Programme (BPIDP) commercial categories.

Self-Published Title

A publication written by authors who are shareholders or owners of the publishing firm.

Trade Book


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