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
  1. noun
    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
  2. noun
    the proprietor of a newspaper
    synonyms: 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
  3. noun
    a firm in the publishing business
    synonyms: publishing company, publishing firm, publishing house
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    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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