Publishing is the dissemination of literature, music, or information — the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning originators and developers of content also provide media to deliver and display the content for the same. Also, the word publisher can refer to the individual who leads a publishing company or an imprint or to a person who owns/heads a magazine.
Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works such as books (the “book trade”) and newspapers. With the advent of digital information systems and the Internet, the scope of publishing has expanded to include electronic resources such as the electronic versions of books and periodicals, as well as micropublishing, websites, blogs, video game publishers, and the like.
Publishing includes the following stages of development: acquisition, copy editing, production, printing (and its electronic equivalents), and marketing and distribution.
Publication is also important as a legal concept:
- As the process of giving formal notice to the world of a significant intention, for example, to marry or enter bankruptcy;
- As the essential precondition of being able to claim defamation; that is, the alleged libel must have been published, and
- For copyright purposes, where there is a difference in the protection of published and unpublished works.
There are two categories of book publisher:
Non-paid publishers: A non-paid publisher is a publication house that does not charge authors at all to publish their books.
Paid publishers: The author has to meet with the total expense to get the book published, and the author has full right to set up marketing policies. This is also known as vanity publishing.