If I have a bunch of "things" which have been published, and want to refer to them generically, what word would use? E.g. I have a book which has been published 10 times. So this book has 10 ___________.

I was thinking "publishment" and the plural "publishments" (I'm looking to use the word "publish" because it has special meaning in this case). Are these accurate/correct?

  • The standard derivative is publication. May 23, 2017 at 17:16
  • @Fumblefingers I suspect you should only use 'publication' after something's been published.
    – Spencer
    May 23, 2017 at 17:26
  • JoshM 'publishment' is definitely not a word. If something's been submitted for publication (but not yet accepted) you could use submission**(*s)***; if not, it's just a book/article/writing 'in the works'.
    – Spencer
    May 23, 2017 at 17:31
  • @Spencer Thanks. It's in the dictionary, at least. :) en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/publishment
    – Josh M.
    May 23, 2017 at 17:32
  • @FumbleFingers I was thinking publication as in "the New York Times is a publication" vs. "this copy of the New York Times I hold in my hands is a __________". But I think I was wrong, and publication probably applies just fine. Care to add it as an answer?
    – Josh M.
    May 23, 2017 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


To refer to everything that a writer has published, including multiple editions of the same works as well as different works

  • singular: body of work; corpus; complete published work; collection, literature (if everything published is written work)

Example: "The W.B. Yeats Collection is an invaluable tool in the debate surrounding the revision and textual editing of Yeats's corpus. It enables users to search across the final published versions of his poems and essays and to trace the development of his ideas and techniques." http://www.proquest.com/products-services/yeats.html

If something has been published and re-published (any number of times, and including re-published with changes)

  • singular: edition, print run, printing run, printing, impression, press run
  • plural: editions, print runs, printing runs, printings, impressions, press runs

edition [ih-dish-uh n] noun 1. one of a series of printings of the same book, newspaper, etc., each issued at a different time and differing from another by alterations, additions, etc. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/edition?s=t

Strictly speaking, an edition does not require any alterations, additions, etc. from another edition - the traditional meaning of the word was actually focused on copies of the book printed from substantially the same setting of type, including all minor typographical variants. Normally, if for no other reason than small errors, etc., there were variations but these were not required. Further, as the above source notes, the meaning of the word edition has changed to be even closer to the other words noted above so that, for instance, in modern times book collectors refer to a first edition with the same meaning as a first impression, or the first commercial publication of a work between its own covers, so even if the same publisher using the same type later makes other copies these won't be that same edition in the modern use of the word by book collectors.

If something has been published

  • singular: author credit; credit; published work; printing; publication (publication was first suggested by FumbleFingers but incorporated here)
  • plural: author credits; credits; credit list; published works; printings; publications

Example: "what do you put in the "publishing credits" section of the query letter if you don't have any publishing credits?" http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2007/06/what-to-do-if-you-dont-have-publishing.html

If something is submitted to be published

  • singular: submission (submission was first suggested by Spencer but incorporated here)
  • plural: submissions

Collins English Dictionary: submission /səbˈmɪʃən/ noun

If something is unpublished, including submissions (the definition above)

  • singular: unpublished work
  • plural: unpublished works; unpublished collection

"Unpublished refers to any information source that is not officially released by an individual, publishing house, or other company, and can include both paper and electronic sources. Some examples of unpublished sources may include manuscripts accepted for publication but still "in-press," data from an unpublished study, letters, manuscripts in preparation, memos, personal communications (including e-mails), and raw data. " http://linguistics.byu.edu/faculty/henrichsenl/APA/APA14.html

  • You may want to add impressions (or printings) specifically for republications with no changes in them, as opposed to editions. Jul 23, 2017 at 18:38
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet nice suggestions - I added these and more, plus more explanation of how the word editions was used historically and in modern times. My interpretation of this word is that at least some people use editions whether or not there are changes, basically interchangeably with impressions, printings, etc., and that's true both historically and in modern times - thus, the expanded explanation.
    – Brillig
    Jul 24, 2017 at 19:49
  • Yes, outside of technical usage by publishers, edition is definitely the most common term, unless both notions are required at the same time (“Second edition, third impression”, for example, would be the third unchanged reprint of the second, updated edition of a book). Jul 24, 2017 at 19:52
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet when dealing with publishers, I find there are vast inconsistencies in how they use the word edition and they are often quite willing to stretch and embellish the word for marketing purposes. Some discussion of that is here. Therefore, I have stayed away from how publishers use the word in my answer above. Monetary incentives which encourage people away from accuracy of language never results in accuracy of language winning out, in my opinion.
    – Brillig
    Jul 24, 2017 at 20:05
  • Hm, yes. Serious publishers who value accuracy over marketese I should have said. (The publishing house where I work has very strict policies on how few changes can still be said to constitute an edition. But then we're hardly the norm in any way.) Jul 24, 2017 at 20:08

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