Although printing was thought of at first merely as a means of avoiding copying errors, its possibilities for mass-producing written matter soon became evident.In 1498, for instance, 18,000 letters of indulgence were printed at Barcelona.Other Chinese inventions, including paper (AD 105), were passed on to Europe by the Arabs (Arab) 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).It grew from the climate and needs of the first, and it fought in the battles of the second.It has been at the heart of the expanding intellectual movement of the past 500 years.
Printing seems to have been first invented in China in the 6th century AD in the form of block printing.
In less than 50 years it had been carried through most of Europe, largely by German printers.
Printing in Europe is inseparable from the Renaissance and Reformation.
The history of publishing is characterized by a close interplay of technical innovation and social change, each promoting the other.
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.
an account of the selection, preparation, and marketing of printed matter from its origins in ancient times to the present.