I want to be clear that I'm asking about this both for the present time, where nearly everyone does everything digitally, and for "back in the day", such as the 1970s or 1950s or 1920s or longer ago. I'm equally interested in both perspectives, and I suspect that they are quite different.
Let's say that Mr. Author has been sitting for a few years in his comfortable chair at home, with thousands of "post-it" notes and seemingly disorganized pieces of papers full of notes to himself. He has a classic mechanical typewriter in front of him. He has just "finalized" the "script" for his book, after going through it many times and finally feels content with the story and exactly how every word is put. He takes out the last page from the typewriter, puts it on his stack of already typed-out pages, sorts them in the right order, clams or tapes them together, waits for another week and comes back to it a final time to read through it as if he were a reader.
When he turns the last page, he smiles. The book is perfect! Now, as far as I understand this world, he either physically delivers this "final script" to an office somewhere nearby, or sends it in the mail to this company if it's far away. Then, they will receive it, read through it, and then have somebody whose entire profession consists of turning such a script into actual book pages, according to countless typographical rules, possibly even changing the formatting of the script, and possibly even fixing typos?
Is this how it works? The author never actually delivers the "actual final book", as in, formatted exactly as he wants it to be printed? If I were to write a book myself, I would be furious if they changed my quoting style to "dash quotes" (even if a particular market expects that style), or "fix" typos, which I may have intended, or which are words I made up myself. I would want 100% control of my book, but perhaps that's just me. Perhaps the publisher would refuse to publish my book if I insisted on this?
It strikes me that, maybe, publishers do allow the author to have full control, but if so, they will charge more, or take a bigger cut of the profits?
What confuses me is that some books have been published by numerous different companies/people from different countries and times. Some may even be "public domain". But how do those companies get hold of the "original script"? Do they just pick up an existing book and OCR it into a computer and then re-format it slightly? Or just photocopy the actual pages directly?
Nowadays, it seems feasible that an author could directly deliver a PDF-format book "script" file which is printed as-is, but I wonder how many authors actually have the skills to make a properly "set" book which will be attractive and pleasant to read...