Spaceman Spiff wrote:
Plus, for a lot of them, there might not be digital versions, yet. A new release is likely to have a digital manuscript, which is easy to turn into an ebook edition. A book from the '70s or '80s would probably have to be scanned manually.
They had word processing programs for computers before the 1990s, I think. Didn't they have some DOS programs in the 80s that could be used to write books?
Those would've been a tiny minority.
Books were traditionally published by authors who typed up the whole manuscript on a typewriter, then it would be sent to a printer who would quite literally set up each letter on a printing press. There would be no digital copies at all.