Publishing is the act of bringing together written materials, literature, media, music and other creative content for publication or for free distribution to the public. Traditionally, the word “publishing” has meant the production and distribution of literary works, including magazines, books, and newspapers. However, in the 21st century, publishing has increasingly taken on new forms, as traditional publishers look to reach new markets, online publishers explore new ways to distribute their material and new business models like eBook publishing attract a new set of readers. As more publications are released online, some authors and publishers are left wondering whether the term “publishing” still applies.
For traditional publishers, publishing means the process of collecting funds for the publication of a book or other media, preparing the manuscript for publication and marketing the product so that it can be sold. For authors, publishing is about the design process. It is the chance to show the world what you have learned and what you can offer them. And it is also a chance for you, the author, to gain some financial freedom – to be able to do things you want and not be limited by the terms and conditions of traditional publishers.
A few traditional publishers have made the transition to e-publishing, which is essentially the same thing but it happens on a distributed, global level. E-publishing involves no physical publishing process except that a website is created, and it is serviced electronically through World Wide Web servers. So even though an author who is an author alone will not be able to do the marketing and the promotion required to get a published manuscript into the hands of a reader, he or she can still publish a book online.
One of the great advantages of the online publishing process is that authors can self-publish something they’ve already written, something they’re very comfortable with, and something that may even spark their creativity. They can also self-refer to other works that have been published online. So, if you’ve written a book that you think would make a good read, why not go ahead and publish it online? Many publishers are now doing this all the time.
You can go directly to a company like Arbor Books or St. Martin’s Press to see if they have an available manuscript of your book. If they don’t, or aren’t sure, there are lots of other publishers who are happy to work with you. Most publishers have established relationships with companies that will allow them to do the publishing process for a fee. So you could approach a publisher like this and ask if they would be willing to take a chance on publishing your book, with or without additional editing.
Or there are other types of publishers who will take a manuscript and do all of the editing, marketing and promotion for you. These types of publishers often work with established authors who have a proven track record of success. However you choose to do it, publishing can be an exciting and worthwhile process. So whether you are self-publishing, working with an established publisher or looking for a new publisher, you can have the book of your dreams.