Rosie Johns, Publishing in the modern era: Introduction

This blog post is the first of a series by Rosie Johns, exploring the challenges and opportunities involved in book publishing in the 21st-century environment.  These posts are being written as part of Rosie’s second project on the Project Management and Research Undergraduate module at Cardiff University.


Reading is a near-essential, and vastly enjoyable, part of our lives.  Humans have been creating written records for thousands of years, from the clay tablets of Mesopotamia (accredited as the earliest form of writing, dating back to 3500 BC) to the hardback and paperback books we are familiar with today.

Since the introduction of the Kindle just over five years ago, eBooks have come to represent a new era in publishing – the digital era.  Books are now able to be published without manual labour, without materials and to a limitless quantity.  Publishing companies have begun, and will continue, to develop vastly different technology to adapt to the new digital demands.

This series of blogs will explore the advantages and limitations of the new digital age of book publishing.  I will provide anecdotal accounts, from a student perspective, of all facets of the publishing industry.  Questionnaires and interviews with professionals from all sectors of the publishing industry will be drawn upon to produce a one-of-a-kind resource, which I hope will be far removed from the detached observations made by other blogs, newspapers and studies.

Publishing is a field greatly affected by digital advancement, and the question of what the future holds for book publishing is one that I am keenly interested in, both on an intellectual and personal level.  This blog series seeks to give a detailed and accurate account into publishing and provide answers to questions of interest, regardless of whether (like me) you aspire to enter the field of publishing, or are simply curious about books and how they are produced.


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