Publishing can be defined as the activity of making information accessible and available to people. John Feather, however, defined the publishing as the commercial process of producing books to the public. From the above definitions two questions can be raised; why is publishing and how?. In the past, publishing was depending on four factors including the writer, the publisher, the retailer and the consumer. The evolution of digital technologies has changed the old model as first the retailers started to use small places or online shop to sell books. Amazon is a good example of the evolution of publishing. Moreover, the online bookstores can know more information about the customers such as the history reading lists and the buying habits.
The evolution of publishing started from 1400 when the printer was invented and continued to develop until the advent of newspaper in 1800 as shown in the diagram below. The industry of publishing dramatically improved which became the most profitable industry in the UK. However, new players have entered to the game since 2000 due to the revolution of digital technologies.
Publishing is important for academics, students and businesses. It’s important for academics in many ways; it protects their work if it is published and also makes them updated with the recent publication on a specific subject. On the other hand, businesses have taken the advantages of the need for the new information, and enhance their services to provide people with the information in the easiest way. The advancement in digital technology has played important role in shaping the future of publishing. Many other factors might have effect on the future of publishing such as the interest of people, the company services and publishing regulations. There is saying ‘If you have direct access to your fans, you’ll be successful no matter what happens in the big picture’, which explain the rise of self-publisher business. Some authors have their own websites to sell their products, and they could sell them two times higher than on Amazon. The last point I would raise is whether the publishing should be free to allow people in poor areas to publish their work and read other people work.