I asked this on History StackExchange but I think it may get better answers here. My question:
I read the Old Testament but I don't understand how a prophet such as Isaiah would have first put forth his prophesies. Did he speak to a crowd, while someone took down his words? Or did he write little pamphlets which were copied and disseminated in print form? Did he nail his writings to the door of a church, or mail them to a person of authority? [...] Perhaps Isaiah knew that his words would be read after his death, but how many people were exposed to them during his life, and through what media?
One commenter on History StackExchange pointed out that Wikipedia's "Book of Isaiah" article contains the speculation that parts of Isaiah were actually "sermons" delivered at the court of Josiah a century later. However, the article admits to the existence of a historical "Isaiah ben Amoz", who is supposed to have written at least the first 39 chapters of Book of Isaiah, and the article doesn't address the question of how he published his verses.
I did some more research and found that Isaiah was "court prophet to King Hezekiah". That sheds a little light, but I'm still curious.
Update: I changed the title to refer to only Isaiah. However, I don't think this covers all the objections I've received for this question.
Update 2: @Nathaniel suggests that I should specify whose opinion I am asking for. Let's say liberals. But in fact, I don't even know how Isaiah is depicted in historical fiction. Is he portrayed as a radical professor? A street preacher? A strung-out courtier? A family man? Perhaps I could have asked "What are some popular fictionalized depictions of Isaiah, and how do they deviate from known history?". I don't know if that would be a better framing of my question. Maybe I should just go back to reading the Bible.