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Consider a variety of publishing options, including informal sharing, formal publication with publishing companies, self-publishing, and a variety of e-publication formats, including Web pages, wikis, and blogs.

Sharing your work with readers is an exciting and important stage of the writing process. Ultimately, you cannot determine if a document is successful until you share it with your readers and gauge their reactions. Reaching significant readers and helping them understand your thoughts on an issue can be remarkably satisfying.

Thanks to the Internet and powerful software tools, you can professionally present your work. Knowing that readers will make opinions regarding your ability to think and communicate, you want to ensure that your published work represents your best effort. Even work published on an Internet site should be carefully crafted. Remember that tools such as the Way Back Machine exist, which can immortalize your words in digital archives. Before publishing a work, always take a moment to reflect on its quality, ensuring the work represents your best effort.

Publishing can be defined as any act that involves making your work public:

  • Publishing may refer to reading your paper out loud to other people
  • Publishing may refer to sharing texts with a group of peers in school via photocopying/distributing a hard copy of your work, or in an electronic format such as an e-mail attachment to friends, as a blog post, etc.
  • Publishing may refer to the traditional author-publishing context, whereby the author submits a text to a publishing company; the text is reviewed and accepted or rejected. Often, authors are encouraged to revise and resubmit. After the text is developed and accepted for publication, the publisher prints the work and markets it. The author then receives royalties based on sales. In this model, a text (such as a journal article or book) may take years to actually arrive in bookstores
  • Publishing may refer to publishing work online. Thanks to the Internet and numerous new online writing forums, (such as blogs or wikis), you can reach hundreds, perhaps thousands (even millions) of readers, even though your work is not supported by an institution or association
  • Publishing may involve an interactive forum where the author and reader exist in a dialectical relationship. Thanks to the Internet and Web publishing tools, our conception of publishing is becoming more dynamic. Authors can publish a version on the Web, readers can immediately respond, using discuss tools, email, online forums, and the writer can then revise