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Printer working an early Gutenberg letter press from the 15th century (1877 engraving).

Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning: originators and developers of content also provide media to deliver and display the content for the same. Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works such as books (the "book trade") and newspapers. With the advent of digital information systems and the Internet, the scope of publishing has expanded to include electronic resources, such as the electronic versions of books and periodicals, as well as micropublishing, websites, blogs, video games and the like.


  • Publish or perish.
    • A phrase used to describe the pressure in academia to rapidly and continuously publish academic work.
  • not be impressed by the imprint of a famous publishing house or the volumes of an author's publications. Bear in mind that Einstein needed only seventeen pages for his contribution which revolutionized physics, while there are graphomanics in asylums who use up mounds of paper every day. Remember that publishers want to keep the printing presses busy and do not object to nonsense if it can be sold.
  • “You’re telling me he’s too good to get published?” I was aghast.
    “Oh, yes, Mr. Wickham, you live in an exceedingly commercial era. Your editors understand that they cannot sell champagne to beer drinkers. They buy what sells.”
    • Jack McDevitt, The Fort Moxie Branch (1988), reprinted in Paula Guran (ed.), Ex Libris: Stories of Librarians, Libraries & Lore (p. 366)
  • The idea of progress … is that human knowledge tends continually to advance because each generation can build on the achievements of the preceding one. Yet, there is an unstated presupposition here regarding the matter of transmission. Faith in progress is based on the (very un-Socratic) assumption that wisdom or knowledge can not only be taught but can be “published” in the modern sense: written down in books in such a way as to be easily and genuinely appropriated, so that the next generation, after a brief period of learning, can begin where the previous one left off. ...

    In the modern period, the whole enterprise of philosophy and science has been organized around this idea of progress. The pursuit of knowledge has become uniquely “socialized,” become a team effort, a collective undertaking, both across generations and across individuals within a single generation. This has affected our whole experience of the intellectual life. The modern scholar or scientist ultimately does not—and cannot—live to think for himself in the quiet of his study. He lives to “make a contribution” to an ongoing, public enterprise, to what “we know.” And at the core of this effort at collective knowing is the modern institution of publication.
    • Arthur Melzer, “On the Pedagogical Motive for Esoteric Writing,” Journal of Politics, Vol. 69, Issue 4, November 2007, pp. 40-41.
  • It is an axiom in the publishing business, however, that pseudoscience will always sell more books than the real science that debunks it.
  • There is a prohibition against including multiple copies (or versions) of the same paper in the 'official publication of record' in [IEEE] Xplore.
  • To capture a publisher’s attention, to convince, to negotiate: these constitute one step forward into the world of writers, one distress, one guilt. One guilt among the many yet to come, all of which bide their time to loom up out of their hiding places, for the path is long and there is an ambush at every turn. Writing: not letting it merely haunt you and die over and over again in you until you no longer know how to speak. Getting published: not loathing yourself, not burning it, not giving up.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 649.
  • But I account the use that a man should seek of the publishing of his own writings before his death, to be but an untimely anticipation of that which is proper to follow a man, and not to go along with him.
    • Francis Bacon, An Advertisement Touching a Holy War, Epistle Dedicatory.
  • Yon second-hand bookseller is second to none in the worth of the treasures which he dispenses.
  • If I publish this poem for you, speaking as a trader, I shall be a considerable loser. Did I publish all I admire, out of sympathy with the author, I should be a ruined man.
  • If the bookseller happens to desire a privilege for his merchandize, whether he is selling Rabelais or the Fathers of the Church, the magistrate grants the privilege without answering for the contents of the book.
    • Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique portatif ("A Philosophical Dictionary") (1764), Books, Section 1.
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