Over the years, we have heard the following question several times:
“Who published your book?”
Our answer is always the same:
The question above represents a common misconception among non-authors; they simply do not realize the difference between printing and publishing. Many publishing companies do indeed provide both services, but the processes of printing and publishing are completely separate from one another.
Publishing is the process required for the final book to be ready for printing. Publishing involves all the activities necessary to produce a final book with properly formatted text, illustrations, etc. Such activities include editing, proofreading, photo preparation, and formatting.
Printing involves, well, printing (and binding, of course). The publisher submits a fully prepared file to the printer, and the printer puts the file’s contents into the final book form. The submitted file must be formatted to the printer’s specifications to ensure the final book appears as originally intended.