In this new wave of self-publisher’s coming to the scene, the function of an editor’s duties will on the most part be absorbed by the self-publisher. This is not to say that the self-publisher will not have a component editor to give the final manuscript the once over before your book goes to a printer. That’s if he even uses a printer. Today we now have these e-books or print-on-demand or desk-top publishing that puts everyone out of a job!
Self-publishing is the publication of any book or other media by the author of the work without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. It’s generally done at the expense of the author. Vanity presses cater exclusively to this market niche, but authors may prefer to hire a printer directly, or use an e-book format.
Although it represents a small percentage of the publishing industry in terms of sales, it has been present in one form or another since the beginning of publishing. In earlier centuries most publications were self-published because they were written, printed and sold by the owner of the printing press.
Over time the roles of author and publisher separated until the self-publication of books was considered unusual. In recent years, self-publishing has increased with technology including xerography, desk-top publishing systems, print-on-demand and the World Wide Web. Cultural phenomena such as the punk/DIY movement, the proliferation of media channels and blogging have contributed to the advancement of self-publishing.
Editing is the process of selecting and preparing language, images, sound, video or film through processes of correction, condensation, organization and other modifications in various media. A person who edits is called an editor. In a sense, the editing process originates with the idea for the work itself and continues in the relationship between the author and the editor. Editing is therefore, also a practice that includes creative skills and human relations.
At this point I must mention the role of a relief printer for those who use a printer even though; you may be playing the role of a self-publisher. Letterpress printing is the common term for relief printing done from movable type, from lines of type cast in one piece or from metal plates in relief may print both text and illustrations.
Letterpress is the most widely used method of printing and the relief process is the oldest. Most letterpress printing is done in small shops. But some establishments are very large and employ hundreds of workers.
Since the internet has become main stream, the era of the publisher, editor and printer are becoming less and less for our purposes. Nowadays it’s all about cost, speed and customer satisfaction. As long as the self-publisher can handle all the task of getting information into the hands of a customer in the form the customer wants, and make a profit, this is the end result and all that matters!