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The church, the state, universities, reformers, and radicals were all quick to use the press.Not surprisingly, every kind of attempt was made to control and regulate such a “dangerous” new mode of communication.For additional information on the preparation of early manuscripts, see writing.

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They usually paid on a piecework basis, to freelance writers.

Publishing as it is known today depends on a series of three major inventions—writing, paper, and printing—and one crucial social development—the spread of literacy.

Before the invention of writing, perhaps by the Sumerians in the 4th millennium , information could be spread only by word of mouth, with all the accompanying limitations of place and time.

Printing in Europe is inseparable from the Reformation.

It grew from the climate and needs of the first, and it fought in the battles of the second.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.With increasing specialization, however, publishing became, certainly by the 19th century, an increasingly distinct occupation.Scripts of various kinds came to be used throughout most of the ancient world for proclamations, correspondence, transactions, and records; but book production was confined largely to religious centres of learning, as it would be again later in medieval Europe.