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Micropublishing is when an individual or group use efficient publishing and distribution techniques to publish a work intended for a specific micromarket. Typically, these works are not considered by conventional publishers due to their low mass appeal and the difficulties that would arise in their marketing.

To make micropublishing more economical, the works are often created, “printed”, sold, and distributed online by a micropublishing company, such as Lulu.com. These micropublishers eliminate many of the entry barriers that prevent independent authors from entering the publishing industry, and often pay out much higher royalty fees than an ordinary publishing house.

Before the emergence of the internet, micropublishing was considered a microtrend that would not play much of a role in the publishing world. The internet has changed this by providing authors and micropublishers with an affordable medium through which to publish and distribute their works.

The Internet is also evolving how traditional publications and micro-publications are distributed. The long imagined dream of digital distribution for published works is quickly becoming a reality. For micro-publications, digital distribution may enable greater numbers of authors and potential authors to enter the publishing industry to access immense numbers of readers who prefer to receive and/or consume content in digital form.

Presently, digital versions of all publications are subject to rampant copyright piracy since technology makes it easy to replicate perfect copies of digital materials. This is especially true when such materials are displayed on the Web where scraper sites routinely infringe the works of others.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) lets copyright holders protect themselves by sending online service providers "take-down notices." Digital copyright holders, however, must first spot unauthorized copies of their works and then find the original infringer, a task made challenging by the vastness of the Internet.

eReaders from Amazon, Sony, Barnes and Noble; to name a few, will help both traditional publishers and micro-publishers solve the infringement problem and protect their works in the digital form. But the ultimate protection innovation for digital distribution appears to be coming. The use of intellectual property conventions (not just copyright practices) to protect digital works is accelerating.

Digital micropublishing sites like DocStoc, Gazhoo, Safari Books Online, SavoirSoft, Scribd, WeBook, and XinXii; to name a few, enable micro-publishers to easily distribute their digital works using intellectual property licenses. Licensing micro-publications simplifies protecting and tracking those works which are distributed digitally, an approached used for many years by software producers.

Micro-publishers and authors who use intellectual property licensing sites are not limited to a specific medium (like eReaders) to distribute their works. This flexibility may allow micropublishing to significantly expand readership while protecting copyrights.

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