Internet Book Resources

Revised June 29, 2003

Book History

History of Communication From Cave Drawings To The Web

By Ashley, at Delaware Middle School

The article on the history of communication is about when people started to communicate with each other not just by talking but by drawing and writing. Early people left drawings on cave walls that told stories of when they went hunting and things that they saw.

Eventually, people started to talk with each other about the stories on the walls and established a verbal language. Over time people started to keep their stories in books, and on paper. It is a very important part of human life and essential for completing regular tasks and interacting with others. Without communication, teamwork and cooperation would not be possible.

This article will help anyone who is learning about the history of humans and how important communication is to our society. The reader will find other resources linked into the article if they are interested in learning more information on particular examples of early communication.

Ashley based her report on an article, found through using See the article at:

BBC Arts – An Animated History of Books

Cynthia Cruz 

The timeline notes major historical events leading up to the modern books that we know today, Including the development of the materials and inventions. Utilizing that the history of books was a collaboration between different people, cultures and ideas – the timeline makes sure to relate all separate events into making sense.

The pictures and images help the creative and informative (and very easy on the ears) narrative illustrate the different topics.

This website is just excellent. This website is all about presentation. The combination of comical animated images and a creative narration utilizes a child-like approach to making learning interesting and (dare I say) fun. If only all history was explained this interesting and creatively, I think students sleeping in any class would be at an all time low.

The website has links that connect you back into their parent website – “BBC Arts – Books”. Now this site is a very impressive also. It has reviews of new and classic books with links to the different book subjects. Lists for list-lovers include links to a review and the books, publisher’s or author’s website.


The Centre of the History of the Book

The University of Edinburgh

Although this website isn’t exactly the most exciting, it does an extraordinary job of focusing on important scholarly subjects related to the history and development of book. 

There is no exact timeline but there all the articles within the website is all time-centered. The articles are listed according to some general time order. There are no pictures.

Book Business

How to Get Published

Jesse Leonard

A site that explains the process of getting a book published. It explains all the hoops one must jump through to get a book deal. Getting a book published seems a lot like getting a screenplay made into a movie. Everyone along the way wants a piece of the money and an input into the final project. It’s a wonder that any good movies or books are made!

Book Information Website

Chad Kent

This is the Book Information website for a professional book restorer in Holland. This site presents the most comprehensive and graspable information on book history that I came across, including a handy timeline on the history of the book, beginning with the Sumerian’s clay tablets.

The range of this site is impressive because of the range of its content and also because of its source—a two-person book restoring operation in Holland. It seems obvious that the source here is quite the book historian, craftsman (this site includes sequences of steps for repairing ancient books), and scholar of books and book resources.

Other information and links provided cover various topics like bookbinding, typography, printing history, manuscripts, and book dealers. This site is an excellent place to research the history of the book as well as a great exhibit of one person’s love for the book.

Book Business

Book Industry Study Group

Statistics, research sources, international committees, but most importantly the website offers a discussion group for those connected to the book industry. They offer committees that are focused on certain factions of the business. The website also has its own online magazine where formal articles are written about the ever changing life that the industry lives. Including opinionated and academic discussion about writing and how to get published. The main idea behind the website is to offer a place where those who participate in the industry have a place where their ideas and feelings can be heard (or read) and that there is a connection between them. Not only do they converse about their creative and working woes but also financial worries and difficulties in breaking into the business. There is no timeline. There are no pictures.

Discuss Books Industry

This website is a giant directory that offers links to everything and anything anyone interested in going into the book industry could use. There are different links to different areas that pertain to the book industry – writers, editors, booksellers, publishers, etc. There are also websites that link the interested person to the venues where these careers are put to practice. It also includes the legal fundamentals to being a part of this business. Some websites include links to the average pay of certain careers that can be found in the book industry.

American Booksellers Association

Seth Myers

This site is in place to promote independent bookstores. They are focused on creating tools for the independent storefront to survive, from marketing, business plans, and peer interaction.

I read a fairly lengthy article dealing with the economics and market structure between independent and chain bookstores. The economics were interesting just in how powerful the chain stores are, but also in the ways the independents can use the mass market appeal the box stores need to fill niches they leave open so that both can survive in the same market (think half priced books). Beyond this though it talked about the market forces the media forces into these bookstores, much like television, where the main stores carry and promote the same books and there’s not any differentiation. The independent stores are like the cable stations where you can find special interests and other purposes then those of the big publishing houses being served. In the article (of course) has a down tone on big stores because of their lack of interest in anything but the bottom line and deals largely with finding the niches to compete.

Publishers Weekly

Seth Myers

Now this is a site that is basically just an online magazine that deals with the publishing industry. Like any industry publication you can find articles relating to all different aspects of the industry with varying points of view. Publishers and writes could use this as a source to stay up to date on changes in the industry. They do everything from book reviews, sales forecast for certain books, interviews, e-book updates, hot news, feedback from authors, and a section on religion because of the built in market for these works.

I read an interesting article dealing with the publication of a book by Ecco Press, Terrorist Hunter. This title is the story of an investigative writer producing a book that implicates a few sources in terrorist funding, mainly Al-Quaeda and Hamas. While the anonymous author got a piece on 60 minutes and bam, lawsuits from two of the largest entities named as terrorist helpers. Now you have to start wondering how much of this book is factual or relevant and if there’s even chance it’s published, much less hits prime time, if it weren’t for the current environment. Ecco Press says they had lawyers review all material and that the anonymous author has a paper trail to substantiate her story, but was this just an attempted to get some press and book sales? I hadn’t really seen how books could bring libel suits to court before so I found this really interesting.

Book Careers

Essential Tips & Tools for Publishing Professionals, by Publishing Professionals

Chad Kent

Here you will find many links offering information on employment opportunities from editing to authoring, along with a lot great ideas and tips from industry professionals on the many nooks and crannies of the book industry.

Exploring these links I found many possible career paths. The book industry employs a diverse group of professionals from management to aspiring interns. As an author you could be a staff writer, novelist, freelance, or even a self-published wordsmith. Editors generally fall into two categories, copy editor and acquisitions editor. Copy editors work with authors to sculpt their writings into great literature (or at least profitable literature) and acquisitions editors buy books for publishers to print and profit from.

The administrative side of the book industry works much like a traditional office, employing department managers and down the scale to the mailroom. In this area of the industry there are also opportunities for marketing, advertising, and HR professionals along with design and art experts. Also account executives, ad brokers, and proofreaders bring home paychecks.

The book industry is competitive, active, and very profitable. Taking into account our curiosities of the unknown and our love for the printed book, the book industry will be a viable and exciting industry for many years to come.

Books and the Internet:

The Battle to Define the Future of the Book in the Digital World by Clifford Lynch

Morgan Brannon

This websites discusses the clash between maintaining traditional book publishing and having items only published and viewable online.  It mentions the fact that if books are published primarily online that many classics may be abridged and cut, it also talks about the importance and value of books continuing to be physically published as well as how the opinions of viewers/ readers may change if books were published online.  The website includes links to information about changes that would occur in the book industry, the standards for editing, content, censorship and publishing that would need to be taken as well as how digital books would be controlled (buying, selling, etc.)

Association of American Publishers

Seth Myers

Following is their agenda - To expand the market for American books and other published works in all media; · To promote the status of publishing in the United States and throughout the world; · To nurture creativity by protecting and strengthening intellectual property rights, especially copyright; · To foster public understanding of the unique value of books and other published materials in and opportunities of the emerging technologies; · To offer practical programs, education, and information to assist members in the management and the cultural and political life of our nation; · To promote intellectual freedom and to oppose all forms of censorship, at home and abroad; · To provide members with useful current information on trade conditions, government activities and policies, legislative proposals, and other matters of special concern; · To aid AAP member publishers in exploring the challenges administration of their companies; and · To stand as a framework within which publishers from all sectors can work together to advance their particular and common interests; to serve as a single authoritative voice for American publishing, at home and abroad.

The AAP is an organization that is involved in all aspects of the publishing industry they have links on their site providing information and further links regarding economics of the industry, job opportunities, censorship, literacy, protection of intellectual property and digital books. Obviously fighting censorship and promoting literacy helps create more demand for books, while providing economic data, including, sales, operating costs, inventory turnover and AR aging, and job opportunities helps grow the industry supply side. Helping protect intellectual property and promoting e-books seemed like odd companions though (or perfect ones). These are tough issues that if e-books ever become a large portion of the market place could plague the publishing industry much as it has the recording industry. The overall site does nothing but promote every aspect of publishing, but in a way that is very respectable.

I was surprised at how much an association was involved with the publication industry, but in reflection I guess it makes sense that they would have their fingers dipped into every aspect of the industry. The pure economics of it demands that they are going to need to promote or fight things that sell or hinder sales respectively of books and at the same time they need to be involved in marketing the industry and preparing for new innovations that will effect them (hopefully positively). Publishers are the hub of the book industry and as this sight shows they are looking after their economic interests by getting involved in everything that could help/hinder book sales.

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