n. The act or process of publishing matter in print or electronic form.
The process of publishing involves making a series of choices about your text, audience, context, and purpose—and thinking about the way you will deliver your text to the audience. What are the available genres and modes of delivery for your text? Given the context and audience, which genre or form of publication is the most appropriate delivery vehicle for your text?
For example, let’s say you’ve written an essay and you want to publish it for an audience. Do you want to deliver your essay as a short video or perhaps an audio podcast? Or will you transform your essay into a photo montage or comic strip? Will you add illustrations to it and make a set of perfect-bound books? Or will you choose to create a single handmade book? Some forms are digital and others are made of paper. Some allow for wide distribution and others are personalized for a smaller niche audience. Your text can be published in many different forms, and it’s up to you to decide which form is the most appropriate for your purpose, audience, and context.
No matter what form you choose, you’ll move through five phases in your publication process:
- Draft or capture your materials (generating ideas, interviewing, recording)
- Examine, analyze, compose (looking at the materials you’ve generated, interpreting, analyzing, writing, refining)
- Edit & further develop your text (revising, cutting out the unnecessary stuff, adding more where needed)
- Produce your publication (design, layout, bind, trim, splice, layer, add audio, and so on!)
- Distribute your publication (deliver your masterpiece to your chosen audience)
You won’t necessarily go through the publication process in exactly this order, and you’re likely to experiment, make mistakes, repeat a few steps, revise, re-think, and change things as you go along. And that’s exactly what makes the process of publishing such an adventure.