On the first page of the first issue, Turner & Henderson, Publishers and Proprietors introduce The Publisher to the public thus:
'The demand, extending to several thousands, that has existed for some time past for our Monthly Book, Stationery, and Fancy Goods Circular has suggested the feasibility of publishing once a month a Journal wherein shall be recorded the news of the day as especially applying to Literary matters.
'Bacon says, "Some books are to tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested," and we propose to set forth in our pages such special criticisms and descriptive remarks concerning all books brought to our notice, that our readers may be able to discriminate in their choice of literature. Professor Max Muller recently said, "You see the best books are not the best books for everybody;" and Professor J. S. Blackie corroborates this remark with, "No man, it appears to me, can tell another what he ought to read," and bearing the gist of this in mind, we shall endeavour to be throroughly impartial in our treatment of any books submitted for review, and as better means of conveying a true report, shall from time to time, make such extracts and notes as may appear to be of sufficient interest.
'Our record would be very incomplete if no notice were taken of matters that stand in close relation to book-lore, so that it will be our endeavour to note all such items as Copyrights and Patents, Law Cases affecting Literature, the transactions of Literary and Debating Societies, and events of interest in connection with the Universities, Colleges, and Schools throughout the colonies.
'We will also publish lists of the Current Literature of the month, and of the many novelties continually arriving from other countries - Stationery, Papeterie, and Writing Materials - those little appendages in the well ordered study that give so much comfort, and which are always being sought after. In short, we trust to make this Journal a reflex of what is being offered to the Australian public, that public of which the two great colonies of New South Wales and Victoria now number one million each.'