In less than 50 years it had been carried through most of Europe, largely by German printers.Printing in Europe is inseparable from the Reformation.
The dissemination of published material via electronic media is treated in information processing.
For a discussion of reference-book publishing, see the articles encyclopaedia; dictionary.
Only in Hellenistic Greece, in Rome, and in China, where there were essentially nontheocratic societies, does there seem to have been any publishing in the modern sense—Arabs but not, it seems, printing.
The reason may well lie in Arab insistence on hand copying of the Qurʾān (Arabic printing of the Qurʾān does not appear to have been officially sanctioned until 1825).
The mechanization of printing in the 19th century and its further development in the 20th, which went hand in hand with increasing literacy and rising standards of education, finally brought the printed word to its powerful position as a means of influencing minds and, hence, societies.
The functions peculiar to the publisher— selecting, editing, and designing the material; arranging its production and distribution; and bearing the financial risk or the responsibility for the whole operation—often merged in the past with those of the author, the printer, or the bookseller.
History of publishing, an account of the selection, preparation, and marketing of printed matter from its origins in ancient times to the present.
The activity has grown from small beginnings into a vast and complex industry responsible for the dissemination of all manner of cultural material; its impact upon civilization is impossible to calculate.
This article treats the history and development of book, newspaper, and magazine publishing in its technical and commercial aspects.
The preparation and dissemination of written communication is followed from its beginnings in the ancient world to the modern period.
Published matter falls into two main categories, periodical and nonperiodical; publications that appear at more or less regular intervals and are members of a series and those that appear on single occasions (except for reissues of essentially the same material).