“Printing the Book of Mormon,” Liahona, February 2021
After Joseph Smith was turned down by three other publishers, Egbert Grandin in Palmyra, New York, agreed to print the Book of Mormon. Its printing was a great endeavor, more than double the size of other printing jobs at the time.
Original Manuscript: Written by at least three scribes as Joseph Smith translated and dictated.
Printer’s Manuscript: A copy of the original was made by Oliver Cowdery and two other scribes.
Typesetting: John Gilbert, compositor for the Book of Mormon, added paragraphs, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling corrections.
Length of first edition: 590 pages.
The first edition was made by hand.
Printing speed: four sheets on one side per minute. 185,000 sheets to print 5,000 copies of the book.
The busy printing staff worked 11 hours a day, six days a week.
Printing time: seven months.
Average print run for a book in the United States in the 1820s: roughly 2,000 copies.
First edition of the Book of Mormon: 5,000 copies.
1981: the Church had printed an estimated 27,249,000 copies of the Book of Mormon.
2011: the Church had printed over 150,000,000 copies of the Book of Mormon in 110 languages.