Publishing to the internet is similar to publishing traditionally, only it is all electronic. There is no hassle with keeping the physical stock of all the titles you have created and published.
Internet publishing consists of two streams:
- web sites
- electronic documents
These two streams are very different.
The pages published to a web site are essentially public, like the books at a public library. Anyone can read them, with or without a library card. Long or short these pages become accessible to anyone with a browser and the page’s web address. This is the nature of the web, open access to everything anyone has the wish to present. (Copyright matters and fair use of material are the minefield the internet has made almost impossible to regulate.) There is no tracking of access in any specific way usually, though through cookies it is possible to have more specific information about who has seen what.
Electronic documents – ebook and pdf files – often become a publisher’s stock. The publisher sells a copy of the file or limits access to the file in some way, allowing the publisher to keep a tally of how well a ‘title’ is doing, the website tracks its sales income and access, one of the wonderful jobs at which a computer and website excels.
There has been quite a change in the technology and web techniques and so these two streams have been blurred, with subscription sites and the shielding of content from the public coming into their own. Websites have always been able to hide behind login pages, but the majority have always been public, usually used as marketing tools to diseminate information about products and services.