Merriam-Webster has a beautiful explanation of publishing in their concise encyclopedia. Their definition of publishing is equally as effective:
Traditional publishing is changing and has to change because technology has made it much easier to produce information. Whether it be to write your opinions to the world via social media or print out your works to distribute on your personal Gutenberg Printing Press, more commonly called a desktop printer. Everything in the industry has changed from creation, to editing, to printing, to distribution, all the way to consumption. Just look at the number of different options to read a book these days; you can even do it on your phone.
With such changes in technology traditional publishing still tries to do things the same way it has always been done. For example, it is a waste to pay large sums of money to have your books put on shelves when the truth is people buy their books from Amazon now. Gone are the days of warehousing thousands of books because you use Print on Demand (POD) and have them shipped as they are ordered. Authors are also no longer confined to their hometown. With the internet, they now can reach a global audience from their computer.
Publishing is still important because their still needs to be a standard of excellence and professionalism. The whole industry won't switch to "Self-Publishing" as some believe, but at the same time, publishing must adapt to how technology has changed the market. At eGen.Co we strive to navigate this changing industry and to make new changes to the standard with one purpose in mind: Making the system better for you the author.