Before the invention of the printing press, folk tales were passed down by word of mouth by parents and storytellers. Once books became more accessible, authors began to collect these folk tales or fairy tales into collections of stories.
Charles Perrault lived from January 12, 1629 to May 16, 1703. He was a French author and is thought to be the first to begin the trend of collecting pre-existing folk tales into fairy tale storybooks. I think you'll be surprised by how familiar his stories are -- I sure was!
In 1695 he published a collection of fairy tales best known under its subtitle, "Contes de ma mère l'Oye" or "Tales of my Mother Goose". It included the stories of Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Ridinghood, Puss in Boots and Cinderella.
(Also published by the Grimm Brothers (German) in 1812 -- keep in mind that folktales like this had been passed down verbally for generations before being written down)