Editor vs Publisher: Difference and Comparison

Have you ever thought of the processes your favourite books would have gone through before reaching you? It takes a lot of effort before a book is finally released. After finishing his/her work, the writer gives it to the editor for editing, and then the publisher publishes it.


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Editors and publishers both have equally significant roles to play. The success of a work, be it an article, a novel, any book or any magazine, depends partly on the writer and partly on the work of the editor and the publisher.

The terms ‘editor’ and ‘publisher’ can confuse many of us and even sound similar.

Key Takeaways

  1. An editor is responsible for reviewing, revising, and refining written content, while a publisher oversees the production, distribution, and marketing of a book or other publication.
  2. An editor works closely with writers to ensure their work is polished, accurate, and engaging. In contrast, a publisher works with printers, distributors, and booksellers to ensure a book reaches its intended audience.
  3. Editors work for publishing companies or freelance professionals, while publishers may work for publishing houses, media companies, or independent entrepreneurs.

Editor vs Publisher

The difference between an editor and a publisher is that an editor edits the works submitted by the writer by revising the work, correcting the grammatical mistakes, and making the essential changes required. The publisher, on the other hand, can do a similar kind of work, but he also has to look if the article published stands out in the market and reaches the maximum audience.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEditorPublisher
Main roleAn editor’s main role is to read and reread the work of the writer until and unless it is completely error-free.A publisher’s work is to manage the work of the writer, and he is more of a financial thinker. 
PowersAn editor can work under the publisher or independently, but when he works under a publisher, he has to work according to the publisher.A publisher heads the publishing companies and hires editors and employees to work under him.
Educational requirementsTo become an editor, it would be best to have at least a bachelor’s degree in English or mass communication. For a specific type of book or article to be edited, you must be an expert in that field.To become a publisher, you need to have good advertising skills. You should be able to think and make financial decisions apart from having a bachelor’s degree in English or mass communication. What matters more is your skills, not your degree, to become a publisher.
Skills requiredThe editor must be good at grammar and able to proofread the articles.  The publisher should have good advertising, administrative, financial, and managerial skills.
Time takenAn editor’s work is a little more hectic and thus requires more time than the time required by the publisher.Though a publisher also takes a long time, the time taken is comparatively lesser than that of the editor.

Who is an Editor?

An editor does the editing work of the documents or the articles submitted by the writer. If the publisher would have hired him, he would have had to submit the reviewed work to the publisher for approval.

An editor may also change a bit of the content or style of the work if the writer agrees. He proofreads the work and goes through every word to ensure no mistakes. He should also ensure that all the facts in the article are concrete and that nothing is misleading.


Who is a Publisher?

A publisher acts as a leader in publishing the book or the magazine. He makes sure that the audience well appreciates the work to be published. For that reason, he does everything that would make the work highly desirable and, at the same time, profitable.

A publisher does the monetary work and thus presents it so well that it would yield much profit. Either he finances the writer’s work or deals with people with enough money to finance it.

They choose popular personalities to help in the endorsement process and plan for launchings or press releases. He is also in charge, and the head of the publishing house, and no decision can be taken without his consent.


Main Differences Between Editor and Publisher

  1. An editor crucially reads the documents to be edited and makes all the changes that would enhance their readability. A publisher generally doesn’t do the editing work though he can. He manages the financial works related to publishing the documents.
  2. Publishers are heads of publishing houses and employ editors to work under them, while editors either work under the publishers or independently.
  3. Editors are the experts of the genre or the field in which the book is written, while publishers are financial experts.
  4. An editor ensures that the readers love the writer’s work. In contrast, the publisher ensures that the work reaches the maximum number of people and, simultaneously, maximum profit can be drawn from the work.
  5. An editor is always less powerful than a publisher in a publishing house, and the publisher can even fire an editor if he/she fails to do her work properly. 
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  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13600861003644533
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s12109-011-9242-3.pdf
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