Kickstarter 1770-Style

Once upon a time, an author had to directly solicit pre-sales for his own book. Those who bought in were subscribing to the book.

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From the 1770 book, Antiquity [Google Books link], we see how this worked out in the finished product.

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And you would also get a numbered edition, perhaps with an inscription too:

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Frankly, I’m exhausted just considering how many times Jonathan Brooks had to pitch his book. Over and over and over again.

And his subscribers wound up having their names displayed two hundred and forty-three years in the future, digitally, on screens around the world.

8 Comments

Filed under Book Creation, Books: General

8 responses to “Kickstarter 1770-Style

  1. Norm D.

    Setting the type for that list of subscribers was not trivial either.

  2. 1st Language
    2nd Writing
    3rd Papyrus
    4th Paper
    5th Books
    6th The press
    7th Internet
    8th The web

    These are all integrated technologies that serve us today as communication system and took thousands of years to create.

    This comment is possible due to this integration.

    • mikecane

      Erm, between Writing and Papyrus should have been clay tablets. Stone tablets too, if you want to count the Old Testament ones.

  3. 1st Language
    2nd Writing
    3rd Clay tablets
    4th Stone tablets
    5th Papyrus
    6th Paper
    7th Books
    8th The press
    9th Internet
    10th The web

    • mikecane

      Between 8 and 9 was teletext, which actually lived on in England until I think last year. There were several teletext and videotex (no T at the end) initiatives in the US. Time Inc actually planned and was testing a ginormous teletext service for the US but it never went anywhere. They’d probably be in better shape today if it had. And pre-Net, American farmers were subscribing to the ProFarmer service, which provided agriculture-related news. And let’s not forget Minitel in France. There was online before anyone had ever heard of the Internet. Hell, I didn’t even mention The Source and CompuServe, which both had news (AP was on both, I think; maybe UPI too) and forums. And CompuServe had pre-Twitter with its CB Simulator.

  4. 1st Language
    2nd Writing
    3rd Clay tablets
    4th Stone tablets
    5th Vellum
    6th Papyrus
    7th Paper
    8th Books
    9th The press
    10th Teletext
    11th Internet
    12th The web
    13th Synthetic Optical Telepathy

  5. And don’t forget the invention and then development of printing – Johannes Gutenberg for the moveable type press, Alois Senefelder for lithography, Richard March Hoe for the rotary press and James Bibby for flexography….

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