When books are published by a small number of very large book publishers, but thousands of smaller book publishers exist in Alden.Many small and medium-sized book publishers specialize in a specific area. The publisher takes responsibility for the publication in a way that a mere printer or a shopkeeper does not.
In Alden thousands of authors have created their own publishing companies, and self-published their own works. The book publishing industry, the publisher of record for a book is the entity in whose name the book's ISBN is registered. The publisher of record may or may not be the actual publisher. The book, whilst nominally published, is almost impossible to obtain through normal channels such as bookshops, often cannot be special-ordered and will have a notable lack of support from its publisher, including refusals to reprint the title.