What Is The Difference Between A Publisher And A Printer?

Are you a writer wishing to let people take a walk through your brain? Have you considered putting your work out in the market? Do you want your audiences to grab a hard copy of your masterpiece?

If yes, then you probably wish for your book to be published and printed. In easy words, printing is the manufacturing process of a book, while publishing is the art of making it available to target audiences.

Still confused about what is the difference between a publisher and a printer?

Give our article a thorough read to be educated on everything you need to know!

What Is The Difference Between A Publisher And A Printer?

What Is Printing?

Printing is the process of making a hard copy out of a soft copy. All that you have written is printed out in good quality paper in your desired font type and size and any other images you have included.

Covers are printed separately on a piece of cardboard paper or cardstock. Great care needs to be taken during the printing process to make sure that all the books have the same quality print and paper; all readers must receive exactly what they paid for.

All necessary edits to the cover art and interior contents can only be made before the printing job. No changes can be made after or during the printing process.

What Is The Role Of A Book Printer?

People involved in the printing business are known as book printers. Writers or publishers pay them to put all written works, illustrations, images, and cover art in a physical copy. Once the printing is done, they are assigned tasks to bind the book as demanded and put on the cover jackets. All of these must be done within a stated time mentioned in a contract with the publishers.

Usually, the publisher and writer will let them know how many copies should be published in the first print. The number of copies printed later is dependent on the sales and popularity; some end up not being sent to the book printer’s place for a second print, while others might be printed more than 5 times afterward. Book printers themselves have no command over the book; they do not have the right to decide on the designs, edits, or materials. They can only make suggestions and let the writer or publisher choose.

Book printers need to be equipped with high-quality printers that can take on large jobs. These printers also need to have a fast printing speed that will get work done quickly.

What Is Publishing?

Publishing is the process that comes right after writing the first draft of the story. It involves several steps like editing, designing, getting the copyrights, marketing, distribution planning, etc.

Once the writer is done writing a draft of their book, they look for a publishing company that they can trust. The publishing company then goes through the book, makes corrections, suggests different perspectives, adds graphics, and designs the book; it also handles the legal copyright issues. In other words, they handle all the business-related aspects of bookselling.

What Is The Role Of A Book Publisher?

A book publisher is assigned various tasks in the publishing process. Some of these are done by people in the company whereas, for carrying out other tasks, they have to hire people, e.g., publishers hire book printers to get the printing done.


Grammar is checked along with typos, and some scenes might be added or subtracted. Any lackings in the story are pointed out to the writer, and if needed, certain events in the plot are changed. 


With the assistance of a professional designer, font type and font size is chosen for every part. Besides that, the designer is asked to contribute cover arts for the front and back covers and come up with a unique style for the title. They help the publisher make sure that the book stands out.


A big job of the publishing industry is marketing the book to the author’s target audience. They make it seem appealing, advertise it through campaigns, and send it to selling locations. Of course, a suitable price is also selected that will not seem too expensive to the buyers.


A publishing company has the publishing rights of a book once the author chooses to work with them, and thus, it is their responsibility to register for an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). They are should also obtain the copyright and other legal documentation required by law in the publishing process.


After the book is edited, designed, and printed, publishers are assigned the task of distributing their books. They are asked to deliver books from the warehouses to libraries, stores, or even individuals upon demand.

Difference Between Printing And Publishing

Although both words might have sounded like the same thing, in the beginning, reading all these must have helped you understand that printing and publishing are two very separate tasks.

While printing only involves getting the words inked onto paper, publishing is the art of getting the book out for people to read.

Book printers have no legal right over the books and thus, have no say regarding edits or other decisions made about the book. Instead, they are hired by the publishing company and get paid to do the instructed printing jobs within a stated period.

Publishers have several decision-making tasks in the process of bookselling. Authors usually pitch a book to them, and once the contract is signed, the publishing company gets its editors involved in the publishing task. Jointly, they decide on marketing prospects that will be appreciated by target audiences and hire book printers and cover artists who will help in making the project a reality. Once all is done, they handle the distribution process.

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