First of all, the cost of online publishing is typically affordable, often free. Online publishers don't have the overhead that paper publishers do. In addition, online publishers generally make their money off of advertisements and premium accounts, so there is no need for authors or creators to pay large sums in order to publish their documents. Second, online publishing is much easier than traditional publishing. Determining whether or not a print publishing company is reputable can be difficult, and finding a print company willing to take on your work at all can be challenging. Online, however, you not only have the choice of many publishers, but you can view the publisher's work easily on their web pages. This means that you know what you're getting into well before you publish.
Because of the success of online publishing, more and more online publishers have been springing up over the Internet. Modelling print publishing, different types of online publishers are available for different types of work. For instance, online literary magazines accept creative writing and art. A variety of web sites, like Associated Content and Orato, allow users to publish their own journalistic endeavors. Magazines for niche audiences, like students, women, sports enthusiasts, etc., have also gone online. Writers, artists, and other creative professionals can choose to submit to these online publishers. However, the Internet also offers opportunities for individuals looking to take the self-publishing route. Blogs and web sites are two examples. Free and easy to use, a blog allows an individual to turn anything--from recipes to diary entries to poetry and music--into a published work. Users can choose whether this work is private or public, in much the same way that they would if publishing traditionally. Blogs are now used for everything from magazines to newsletters for groups and clubs.
However, a blog presents a problem for the individual looking for an online publisher. Although they are easy to customize, blogs don't give readers an interactive, professional looking document. This takes a great deal of creative options away from designers, as they can't dedicate mock pages to photos, pull quotes, etc. An alternative is the traditional web site. One method of online self-publishing is to choose a domain name that will be the title of your publication, whether it is a magazine, newspaper, journal, or other document. Then you can design the page to look as you would like, with few logistical limitations. The limitation that does exist, however, is related to time and effort. This process is very time consuming and requires you to learn aspects of web design, in addition to charging you for the domain name and hosting.
Fortunately, a new online publishing technology has recently emerged that offers the advantages of blogs and web sites without the disadvantages. This is the file sharing online publishing portal. Sites like megaupload allow individuals to upload documents that they have already designed using software such as Microsoft and Open Office publishing programs. Free to use, megaupload also hosts the documents for free so there is no need to worry about them expiring. Most online publishers allow users to select a privacy level. This way, newsletters for a local baseball team can't be read by the rivals!
Because it is easy, cost effective, and may actually reach more readers, online publishing is the option that many of today's writers and creative professionals take. However, the options for online publishers are numerous. To choose an online publisher, you must determine what your needs and limitations regarding cost and time are. Then, you can decide whether the web site, blog, or file-sharing portal is for you.