What Is The Difference Between A Publisher And A Printer?

Do you have a great work of fiction or non-fiction that you have written and believe worthy of showing off to the world? Then, you should consider learning the differences between a publisher and a printer.

Although many people often confuse the two terms and use them interchangeably, there are some very obvious or not-so-obvious differences between a publisher and a printer. Luckily for you, we have summarized them in this article.

What Is Printing?

Printing refers to the act of transcribing writing and graphics from a digital file, master form, or template onto paper with the help of a printer. Two very famous examples are Cyrus Cylinder and Cylinders of Nabonidus.

Nowadays, several printers are available on the market that you can buy to print documents at home. If you cannot afford one or don’t need to use one as often, you can visit a local internet café to print out the required files. For big printing jobs like several hundred copies of a book, you can contact a printing press or book printer with a quick search online.

What Is The Role Of A Book Printer?

The physical process of transferring the text and images from the computer document onto paper, along with the binding of books while maintaining high quality, constitutes the role of a book printer. As a writer, you will not have to form a close relationship with your printer; all you need is to pay your printer accurately for their services.

You can choose specifications such as the type of paper, formatting, the number of copies to be printed, etc. Although, the ability to deliver all your requirements will depend on the expertise of your printer. The job of a printer ends at printing and binding the copies of the book; as the author, only you will hold all the rights to the ownership of the book’s intellectual property.

What Is Publishing?

The publishing industry is involved with the commercial production and marketing of books, music, art, etc. Once a publisher company believes an author’s manuscript is worth introducing to the public, they form a contract to make a pBook (print), aBook (audio), or ebook (electronic). 

As an author’s publisher, they will be involved in editing, rearranging, and revising the manuscript to perfection and work with professional designers (or by themselves) to create the book cover, select fonts and formats before sending in the book for printing. Here, a book printer enters the picture as one will be contracted to print copies of the book.

Before marketing and promoting the book and distributing it to stores, the company will work on the legal documents. As the publisher and distributor of the book, they will hold some ownership over the intellectual property rights.

What Is The Role Of A Book Publisher?

The origin of the word “publish” comes from the Latin word “public,” meaning “to make public.” Likewise, the role of a book publisher is to introduce an author’s work to the public. To do this, a publisher will complete three tasks:

1. Editing

Together with you, the author, they will revise and edit your manuscript to create a better flow of words. They will hire an illustrator (or use one of the publishing company’s) to design a book cover and any necessary illustrations. A graphic designer will be contracted for selecting fonts, formatting, etc.

2. Supplying

They will contact a printer to print out copies of your completed work, then do some marketing before distributing supplies of the book to stores.

3. Selling

They will promote and market your work and establish ownership of the rights to the book’s intellectual property.

Before distributing the books to stores for sale, the publisher will obtain any necessary legal documentation and copyrights and register the book for an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). The publishing company will be the owner of the book’s rights and keep a large chunk of the returns on investment (ROI). As the author, you will earn a certain percentage of the sale of each copy of the book.

All the financial duties related to the book will be handled by the publisher. They will be involved in marketing and promoting the book, storing copies in warehouses, distributing supplies to stores, and doing inventory.

The author’s job will be to attend meet-and-greets and interviews (if needed) while earning a percentage from the sales.

Difference Between Printing and Publishing

As you have already seen, printing is one of the many steps involved in publishing a book. A self-publishing author can contract a printer to print out copies of a written work they have completed. In this scenario, the printer will only be involved in printing and binding copies of the book and have no role in whatever is written; the author will be the sole owner of all the intellectual property.

On the other hand, publishing is a complicated process, from editing the raw manuscripts, designing the book to commercially producing it and promoting it. Depending on the terms of the contract signed, the publisher may be the owner of all copyrights, while the writer will profit from a percentage of the sales. 

To put it in a nutshell, printing is one of many parts of publishing, while publishing is a complex process of preparing a book to show the world to commercially produce it. We hope we have now cleared up the confusion in your mind and wish you good luck on your journey to becoming an author

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