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Personal Publishing

David Brake


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Personal publishing – publishing by an individual or small group, generally not for profit and not aimed at a mass audience – has occurred for centuries. In its early years it took the form of, e.g., small-scale pamphleteering, the circulation of diaries within faith-based or friendship communities, or the publication of books of family history or autobiography using the “vanity” press (publishers whose income comes primarily from authors). Because of the economics of publishing, until recently these practices were not available to a broad range of people and the circulation of these texts was limited. With the advent of the personal computer, photocopier, and inexpensive desktop publishing tools, however, small-scale personal publication became easier and a variety of small-scale magazines sprang up (→ Zines ). It has been the diffusion of access to the Internet in recent years across much of the world (→ Digital Divide ), however, that has enabled a flourishing of online personal publishing and inspired a greater academic focus on this area. This started with personal Internet home pages in the mid-1990s and has continued in the form of the “weblog” (a site consisting of items published in reverse chronological order) and, most recently, of profiles on social networking services (SNSs) like Facebook. Self-publishing has taken a great diversity of forms and therefore attracted ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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