Courtesy of a link tweeted by @TheLitPlatform comes the splendid History of Publishing infographic below.
It merits reading in conjunction with this optimistic article in The New Republic about the future of books. When I linked to this recently, there were some comments suggesting I was being delusionally optimistic about the outlook for the industry. Maybe, although I still think it is encouraging to see how innovative the industry has been compared to the early days of the digital tidal wave washing over the music industry, for example. There are other optimists – this in the Virginia Quarterly Review is another fascinating take on getting people to pay for value in books.
Anyway, the point is that the infographic above is a technology history, and it needs a business history alongside it. Publishing has always been a technology business, and lies at the intersection of monetary and non-monetary values.
Infographic by Finvy
This is great! I may well make use of it. If only it was possible to use my 1955 Imperial Good Companion as a keyboard.