This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Colonial Book Publishing at Latta Plantation

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Over the weekend we went to a Folk Festival at the Latta Plantation in Huntersville, NC. I discovered a few ideas for new novels I can explore. I've written several historicals, but I haven't written anything set on a plantation. I walked out with three new books from the gift shop that I can use as resources.

The house was a little different from other plantation homes I've seen in that the entrance and exit doors were on both sides of the house, not in the front and back. However, the kitchen was a separate building beside the house as I've seen before. This was a small/medium size plantation. The photo above shows a side view.

We also got an overview of colonial book binding. What a long and drawn out process it was to print and bind a simple book. They would lay out the pages and fold the paper so the pages would be in order. Then they would cut the pages and put them into a trimmer to trim each page one at a time. Talk about time consuming! Below is a photo of the binding and trimming equipment that was used.

When you think about the whole process they had to go through, and how slow it was to accomplish, I'm surprised any books were published at all. I can see why people didn't have many books, if any, in their homes. What a wonderful century we live in today. I'll try to remember not to complain about the slow process of publishing a book after it is in contract.


Okay, I'm going to remind you you wrote this!!!