Just What Do Publishers Do?
Publishing is a process devoted to priming texts for commercial release. But what do publishers do? Publishers typically begin the process by seeking out and receiving texts with potential, and then marketing, editing, designing, and perfecting the texts to market and sell them. While the publishing process might seem orderly, it is actually one that sometimes lacks consistent structure and depends on numerous people working together in various capacities for success.
Through their hard work, publishers ultimately acquire, polish, and market texts for consumption by a particular audience. Depending on the customers’ needs, the publisher produces a final printed or digital product and markets it to specific or broad audiences.
Publishers work with a variety of texts such as books, magazine, academic journals, manuscripts, and any other texts meant to be shared with an audience. They commonly edit, design, and format products, all with the intention of producing a viable and desirable commodity.
In larger firms, publishers search for potential authors and also edit their work, design and format their products, and conduct marketing to sell their texts. In smaller firms, publishers often delegate some of work to outside firms or consultants and focus on the work that is the specialty of the firm. No matter their specific role, publishing firms are commonly involved or at least observant of and connected to the whole publishing process.
Types of Publishers
Publishers work in numerous capacities. Most commonly, they work as desktop publishers or editors on newspapers, periodicals, books, magazines, and articles. Desktop publishers use computer software to design all aspects of soon-to-be published materials, and editors work with the content of the text being published. Both work together to create products that will sell in the marketplace. Publishers also commonly work as marketers and in other business-oriented capacities.
Common Types of Publications
Ultimately, publishers make information available for public consumption. Historically, publishing has happened through print, but as technology evolves, more and more publishing happens digitally. Publishers typically must evolve to meet the demands of the customers they serve making the industry a constantly changing one.
Publishers put their names on various types of texts. Many publishers are traditional and stick to publishing a particular genre, discipline, or subject; others publish any text that comes their way that carries with it a promise of success.
Some categories of genres publishers work with include:
- Fiction and/or non-fiction
- Science fiction
- New-age and spirituality
- Technical and informational writing
These and many others are genres in which publishing firms commonly specialize.
Publishing firms might also publish by topic, subject, and/or discipline such as:
- Health and fitness
- Religion and spirituality
- Sex and gender
- Art and design
These are just some of the hundreds of topics, subjects, and disciplines publishers might focus on publishing.
In addition, many publishers publish for different age groups, reading levels, and languages.
No matter their field of expertise, publishers must actively engage in the process of finding, developing, and selling relevant materials in innovative, creative, and meaningful ways.