A builder builds. A dancer dances. A publisher publishes — which is to say, oversees the printing, editing and, most importantly, the selling of books, magazines, websites, and even music.

It's a matter of debate who is more important at a magazine, the editor or the publisher, but I'm sure you could get convincing arguments for either. The editor is in charge of content, while the publisher runs the business side of things and often owns the operation, too. The publisher of a newspaper is often also the owner. When a writer wants to get their book published — printed and sold — they send it to a publishing house, which may become the book's publisher.

Definitions of publisher

n a person engaged in publishing periodicals or books or music

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Karl Baedeker
German publisher of a series of travel guidebooks (1801-1859)
John Bartlett
United States publisher and editor who compiled a book of familiar quotations (1820-1905)
Henry Oscar Houghton
United States publisher who founded a printing shop that became an important book publisher (1823-1895)
Henry Robinson Luce
United States publisher of magazines (1898-1967)
Keith Rupert Murdoch
United States publisher (born in Australia in 1931)
Adolph Simon Ochs
United States newspaper publisher (1858-1935)
Type of:
professional, professional person
a person engaged in one of the learned professions

n the proprietor of a newspaper

newspaper publisher
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William Maxwell Aitken
British newspaper publisher and politician (born in Canada); confidant of Winston Churchill (1879-1964)
Alfred Charles William Harmsworth
British newspaper publisher (1865-1922)
Benjamin Harris
publisher of the first newspaper printed in America (1673-1713)
William Randolph Hearst
United States newspaper publisher whose introduction of large headlines and sensational reporting changed American journalism (1863-1951)
Joseph Pulitzer
United States newspaper publisher (born in Hungary) who established the Pulitzer prizes (1847-1911)
James Edmund Scripps
United States newspaper publisher and half-brother of Edward Wyllis Scripps (1835-1908)
Edward Wyllis Scripps
United States newspaper publisher who founded an important press association; half-brother of James Edmund Scripps (1854-1926)
press lord
a powerful newspaper proprietor
Type of:
owner, proprietor
(law) someone who owns (is legal possessor of) a business

n a firm in the publishing business

publishing company, publishing firm, publishing house
newspaper, newspaper publisher, paper
a business firm that publishes newspapers
magazine, magazine publisher
a business firm that publishes magazines
Type of:
business firm, firm, house
the members of a business organization that owns or operates one or more establishments

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