What's the difference in meaning between publishing a book and releasing a book?
Even though the word publish might just have become too old-fashioned for nowadays consumers and the use of the word release is on the increase, for books case, I’d rather use publish
If we were talking about a movie, music CD, or software then the word release would be more appropriate.
The short answer, to the effect of the opposite of the other answer here, is no. To elaborate, the synonyms listed by Google come daringly close to released:
make known, make public, publicize, bring to public notice/attention, announce, report, declare, post, communicate, impart, broadcast, transmit, issue, put out, distribute, spread, promulgate, propagandize, disseminate, circulate, air, blazon, herald, proclaim; disclose, reveal, divulge, leak
I'm not convinced that either would sound odd in that use case, but one point I ought to mention is that publishing can refer to the entire process of publishing-- the paperwork and all those sorts of things.