Before & After #11: Where Books Come From

So you guys. Since early 2012 I’ve been working on this post I wanted to do about the differences between myself as a reader before I was a blogger and after I became a blogger because my habits have changed SO MUCH. I kept putting it off because of wedding plans. I wanted to make this cute graphic that was a list but, when I finally started to work on it this year, it was just looking TOO crowded with about 30 different things and overwhelming and not AT ALL what I had in mind. Then I decided…why not make it a series? The more I thought about it — it would lend to a better discussion if I just give you one at a time. I’m kind of glad my original idea didn’t work out because I’m liking this better. Check the end of the post for previous Before & After’s.


 I had the vaguest notion of how books were published. People wrote them and then there were publishers who printed them? I really didn’t know much about the various publishers — I would see HarperCollins or Random House on a back of a book and not really pay attention to it. I just really knew NOTHING about the world of publishing. Books just magically appeared on shelves and I read them.


It’s insane how much I know of the industry now as a blogger (especially because I’m not also a writer). I could name tons of publishers, their imprints and a list of the some of their bigger titles and could definitely tell you the publisher of any recent book I’ve read in the past 3 years. I could even name agents and editors for some of my favorite books or ones that I’ve taken notice of.  I understand more the process of how a book goes from author to the shelves of your bookstore. I’m aware of sales going on and I pay attention to industry trends. It’s honestly AMAZING how much I’ve learned about the publishing industry not even setting out to learn about it — definitely makes me appreciate each and every beloved book even more. I do think in some ways that I wish I didn’t know SOME of the things I do because sometimes being a reader without knowledge of the industry is bliss but I wouldn’t trade everything I’ve learned. Not at all. It’s an industry I care about and definitely am glad to be a part of it.



Let’s Talk:

If you are a blogger — As a blogger do you feel like you know a lot more about the industry than you did before or have you stayed unaware of a lot things? Did you know a lot about the industry prior to blogging? What are some things you have learned that may have surprised you? Anything you wish you didn’t know?   If you aren’t a blogger Do you feel like you know a lot about the industry? Do you prefer not to know or just never had an interest in it?

Previous Before & After’s:

The Time In Between Two Books – 2/27
Being Up On New Releases — 3/6
Book Real Estate — 3/15
Re-reading — 3/20
Meeting Authors + Myths About Them — 3/27
The Number of Books Read Per Year — 4/5
Recommending Books — 4/10
Chunky Books —   4/17
Reactions To Books — 4/24
Having People To Talk Books With– 5/8

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I know way more now for sure and I haven’t even been blogging that long. But I also work in a major bookstore chain so that has increased my knowledge a ton!

    Great post!

  2. This is true for me, too. Even just following agents and publicists on twitter can teach you so much, and blogging has really showed me that publishing may likely be the career path I want to take. Now, I have favorite, trusted publishers and can name some of their imprints, which is not normal in the non-blogging world of high school but highly typical in the blogosphere. 🙂

    • YES. I totally follow a lot of agents and publicists and I’m always learning things. I wish I would have had all this when I was in college because I would have definitely realized this is something I should pursue. It’s rare that in high school that people have such an insider look into the industry they might want to work with. LOVE that!

  3. I feel like I know a LOT more about the industry now that I’m a book blogger. I had no idea what imprints even were or that they existed. I had assumed that each name was its own publishing house, so quite the surprise when I learned how many imprints each publisher actually has! I definitely pay more attention to who publishes what book as well. I think it’s interesting to see if there’s any trend as to who the publisher is for my favorites and it’s just an interesting thing to know, in my opinion. Definitely makes a difference to see many more facets of the publishing world as far as marketing/social media goes!

    • RIGHT? i just had no idea about the imprints and that they were under a lot of my fave publishers when I first started blogging. I’m curious to know WHY there are imprints — esp when it doens’t seem to be like a branding move since most readers don’t know what they are (at least judging from comments here).

  4. I feel like I know so much more than before. It’s really amazing how many things I’ve learned! One thing I didn’t know was that authors read reviews. I started out just reviewing on GR (didn’t even have a blog, didn’t know what the heck an ARC was, the library was my bestie). I would just be reading and giving my thoughts on books. I didn’t even know authors were on GR! LOL. In my mind, running into an author was like running into a celebrity!

    My perception has changed quite a bit since then. I’m more aware of what goes on in the industry and how things work. But what I’m really happy about is this amazing bookish community that I had no idea existed! That’s the best part of all.

    • I totally didn’t know either!! I just looked at Goodreads (I was really big into the groups vs the reviewing) as a social site so when I wrote my reviews I just never wouuld have thought an author could read it. Like they would ACTUALLY come look at reviews on there. I didn’t realize how powerful GR is I guess.

      I totally didn’t know what an ARC was either! Which is funny because my sister had a few YEARS ago because of a lady she used to work with (I have no idea how she had them).

      Definitely also happy to discover this community!

  5. I have not been even blogging a year, but I have learnt so so much. I always knew the name of publishers, but I did know that imprints existed. I had no idea what an ARC or galley was – nor that they were somewhat accessible to an average Jane like me! I cannot believe how oblivious I was to the publishing world, though I made considerable effort to know more when I decided I wanted to work in the industry. Oh, and I also did not know how OLDDDDDDDDDDD most of these publishers are. Lol.

  6. I’m not a blogger, but I know a lot about the industry. Mostly because I want to work in the industry some day. But with knowing all the stuff that I know about it, it makes me appreciate a book more.

  7. I was def clueless. I’m still figuring some of the specifics out, like Macmillan’s structure. I know Tor and Bloomsbury are affiliated somehow, but is it just distribution? And St. Martin’s is in there too, but not under the same umbrella as the rest of MacKids. Also, way back when I would not have given a shit about this, but now I am fascinated. Haha.

  8. The world of blogging has definitely increased my knowledge of the publishing industry! I know all about queries, imprints, ARCs, agents, editors, etc. I may even consider majoring in publishing in college now, kudos to book blogging!

  9. I definitely know more now. In fact, blogging is what got me interested in publishing and led me to taking some courses. I now know even more after doing an internship at Random House of Canada. Of course, I also feel like I’m even more clueless because I realize there are so many other layers and jobs and such. It’s such an interesting industry for a book lover. I just wish I could a) figure out what I want to do in the industry and then b) get hired!

  10. I’d been publishing for years before I discovered book bloggers (on the eve of the publication of my first YA), and I’ve learned a ton. And I don’t even blog books, I blog really bad writing advice. But just wandering around YA book blogs has been a fascinating education. The idea that this whole complex subculture that revolves around love of books even exists is so exciting; I cannot even tell you how much I enjoy throwing it in the face of people grousing about how youth has no attention span thanks to electronics blah blah and the book is dead. Ha!

  11. I’ve been blogging for awhile (just really getting into it) and I still know almost nothing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know more, but my blog is so small that I still know so little because publishers aren’t reaching out to me (and that’s okay!) But the social media aspect is so interesting because it has helped me find more out and enjoy them more, but it also stinks when certain publishers tweet a lot because then it’s like they’re overpowering me with information (which sounds stupid to say.)

  12. I knew nothing! I mean, other than who a few publishers were. Now I know their imprints, what they publish, and such. I was talking to my girlfriend the other day and she’d bought a book and I said, “oh yeah, that’s a Penguin book!” She named off the publisher, and I was able to tell her they were a Penguin imprint – then I thought, “whoa, a few years ago I NEVER would have known that.” I have learned a lot about how authors get agents, how agents broker book deals, about publicity and marketing, and self-publishing, and publishing trends. And you know, it’s all REALLY fascinating!

  13. I had NO idea that so much went into publishing a book! I always thought the author wrote the book and someone read it, loved it, and published it! Luckily, I was 14 when I started book blogging so I became more aware of it.

  14. I feel like I know enough. I don’t know editors or anything like that, and I do wish I knew more about the process, but I’ve never needed any more than knowing the bestsellers of a publisher to know that they’re good and that I would most likely enjoy the books they publish (i.e. HarperCollins or Simon & Schuster).

  15. I think I need to take a page from your book and pay more attention to the publishers and imprints and the publishing process! I do know a few things, and for most of my favorites, I can name recent titles or well-known ones. But I’m still only in the kiddie pool when it comes to publishing industry info, and I hope that I can venture into the deeper waters as I continue blogging.


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