Book publishers are those who are involved in en masse printing of the final manuscript, its advertising and sale of the product. Book publishers, as we know, are not just limited to fiction or textbooks. They also bring out audio books or electronic books, better known as e-books.
Different Book publishers deal in variety of topics and their target readership too is quite varied.
Trade publishers aim their product, be it a fiction or non-fiction, at general consumers like children and adult, who can buy them from bookstores or wholesale dealers. They even sell these books to libraries for the benefits of its members.
These publishers publish books that are commercially viable and have a huge readership value. Penguin, which brings out fiction and non-fiction, is an example of Trade Publishers. Applause that publishes books on theatre and cinema in the US for general consumers is another example of trade publishers.
Professional publishers bring out books that are meant for a particular segment of professionals be it from the field of medicine, law, business, IT or science. They often bring out books on the technical know-how of a particular field in which they have expertise.
Blackwell, which is into bringing out specialized books on law and criminology, medicine and social and behavioural sciences, is an example of Professional publishers. Bloomberg that produces books for investors, financial advisers and professionals is another example.
Educational publishers bring out textbooks meant for students in school or college. Apart from textbooks, they are also involved in bringing out workbooks or notebooks, educational CD-ROMs and maps. Education publishers are divided into two types - one that publishes textbooks targeted at students in school right from kindergarten to 12th class. They are known as Student publishers. The second type -- Higher Education publishers -- is aimed at students doing their graduation or post-graduation courses.
University Presses, basically, comprise of departments of universities, colleges or museums who produce books for scholars and specialists in particular subjects. The unique thing about this type of publisher is that they are non-profit publishers. However, some of them do engage in trade publishing and bring out books aimed at general consumer. University of British Columbia Press, Cambridge University Press and the John Hopkins University Press are some of the examples of this type of publishers.
A company, as the name suggests, does not support Independent publishers. They are basically small publishers who can bring out all types of books. They have more freedom to choose the kind of book they want to publish.
E-Books or electronic books is the latest buzz catching up among the readers today. These books can be bought from a website and you can read them by downloading it on to your computer, laptop or palm pilot. E-books are available in all categories, including fiction, textbooks, reference books and do-it-yourself books.
The best thing about it is that you no longer need to search for a book in various bookstores. You just have to log into a particular website and, voila, you get the book you want. Another advantage is its portability. Since you can store it on your laptop, you can refer to it whenever you want!.
Audio books which are recorded on audiocassettes, CDs or MP3s, are more successful in self-help books or do-it-yourself books and language instruction.
Contract Publisher takes a fee from the author to help him in editing and designing the manuscript of the book. He is also responsible for the marketing and distribution of the book.
Self-Publisher is the author who does everything from editing, designing, printing to marketing and distribution of the book.
However, there are some big publishers like HarperCollins who are involved in more than one category. HarperCollins is not only involved in professional publishing but also trade publishing and alternative media like e-books and audiobooks.