The definition of publish is, “to issue,  or cause to be issued, in copies made by printing or other processes for sale or distribution to the public as a book, periodical, map, piece of music, or the like”   (Webster’s Encyclopedic Abridged Dictionary).  A publisher is one who publishes.  Recently someone asked me if I was a publisher?  I responded affirmatively.  Then the inquirer sarcastically said, I didn’t know you owned a printing press.”   My composed rational response was, “I don’t.”

For some reason many people believe that a publisher must possess printing facilities to publish books.
   A publisher is responsible for gathering, organizing, and formatting the data to be published and submit it to a printer, whether in house or hired out, and arrange for distribution of the finished product.  In the event of book publishing the publisher is responsible for turning a manuscript into a book. 

Technology has changed the publishing industry.  The doors for book publishing are wide open.  A computer and a lack of knowledge is all a person needs to publish a book.  I’ve heard that 500 to 700 books are published daily in the United States.   A large number of those are like junk mail; they need to be thrown in the garbage.   My assertion is based on observations of book promotion sites on Facebook.  Fiction, romance, and some obviously perverted literature constitute the largest percentage of books on these sites. 

There are several ways to publish a book:


1.  Traditional Publisher – The publisher pays the author for a manuscript and receives a small royalty.  Name recognition is the primary asset of the author.

2.  Self-Publishing – The author writes, edits, compiles, formats and publishes his or her own book.  This method is just as valid as a traditional publisher if the self-publisher is qualified and demonstrates it with integrity.  A celebrity personality could easily self-publish and receive all the royalty.

3.  Vanity Publishing – Companies appeal to the emotions of the author, often misleading the author to believe people are waiting in line for the book.  They often charge large fees for publishing a book. Companies like this will often give the author all the royalties because they see no hope for any sales of significance.


However, there is a tertiary possibility.  Publishing through a company, large or small, that will help the author through the process of writing and editing and then publish the book for the author.   The publisher charges a fee depending on the amount of work involved in the publishing process.  The author and the publisher share in the royalties, so both parties are motivated to work at marketing the book.

With all the changes taking place, I wish there was more emphasis on principled content than on traditional formatting.  We’ll see!