Lessons From the #Gutenberg Bible for #Publishers Going #Digital - Technology Review
You’d think that the inventor of the printing press, which revolutionized all media after it, forever, would have reaped great riches from his invention, but that wasn’t the case. It turned out that everything else that went into creating a book — the paper, binding, transportation to book sellers, etc. — was so expensive that you might as well copy them by hand.
Gutenberg had solved the wrong problem.
What kept the early publishing industry afloat was something quite unexpected, from a modern perspective: the printing of Papal indulgences. That’s right: the birth of movable type was sheets of paper telling sinners they were absolved of their transgressions.