One of the many definitions of publishing is: to make public or generally known.
We can trace publishing to before 3000 bc when the Egyptians used hieroglyphs for religious scripts. Publishing, since, has undergone incredible transformations from Gutenberg’s printing press in the 15th century to the recent, as Gregory Ulmer puts it, electracy (the skill and ability to fully utilise the transition to electrical media).
Aside from the traditional modes of publishing, such as print newspapers, books, broadcast television and radio, the electronic mode is upon us. E-newspapers, e-books, television viewing and radio via the internet and blogs have changed the way we consume and publish.
The electronic platform has given individuals the ability to publish their own material, cutting out the middle-man (the publisher). Individuals can publish whatever content they choose, be it written, photographic, video. Fan groups with common interests can find and communicate with one another regardless of time and space. Anybody can now publish their own thoughts, comments and opinions without difficulty.
Jonah Lehrer, editor at Wired , is certain the future of books is digital. It’s apparent that this is the case with a growing number of bookstores shutting down as a result of e-books and the incredible popularity of e-reading devices, such as the Kindle and Ipad.
Publishers, as talked about on Neil Conan’s NPR radio show, have to find alternate ways to adapt to the transition to the e-world. The BBC recently published an article reporting on five US publishers conspiring to raise prices on e-books. Publishers need to find a middle-ground by which authors, consumers and printers’ interests are facilitated.