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Book publishers are professionals that prepare and issue a variety of fiction, sci-fi, romance, and horror genre books. Working in this industry often involves editing, proofreading manuscripts, and printing books. In fact, publishers often deal with authors, agents, writers, and other experts in this business. Many press releases and novels are even published online these days. In order to better understand this industry, you should take a look at some of the terms found below.
Nonfiction – A book or publication that is written in prose and based on real people, events, and facts.
Publishing Company or House – A company or business that helps writers and authors with preparing and issuing copies of books, magazines, and newspapers.
YA – This refers to young adult literature and fiction, which can be fantasy, children’s titles, sci-fi, history, or horror.
Biography – A book written as an account of someone’s life, but not written by the subject of the text.
Manuscript – This is a book that is written or typed by an author, but has not been published yet.
Autobiography – An account of one’s life that is written by him or herself.
Cookbook – A printed text of cooking recipes, which typically offers a variety of food categories.
Children’s Title – A book that is geared toward a child or preteen and can be a genre like mystery, sci-fi, or fantasy.
Author – The writer of a book, manuscript, article, essay, or report.
Editor – This is a professional that may work for a publishing house and is typically in charge of the final content of the novel or other publication.
Until 1455, books were made entirely by hand. Literacy was very low and the concept of a book publisher was unknown. However, not long after the invention of the printing press, popularity of book publishers grew enough that governments instilled censorship.
Today, anyone can be a publisher. The invention and expanse of the electronic book and printed book has had on technology, has significantly reduced the cost of printing. Technology has allowed for books to be printed at more reasonable rates. The use of computers has also caused a decline in manuscript collections, because many books are now published with no original manuscript ever being made.
The printing press is still used by publishers. Books are printed continuously and the size of which is determined by the publishing house. A book by a new author will receive a far smaller quantity printed than the latest title from a famous writer. Both non-fiction books and novels go through an extensive process of editing before being printed.
The publishing industry is in flux. Genres such as sci-fi, fantasy and romance are leading the shift towards electronic books. Most publishers specialize in specific a genre or type of book, with larger houses using different departments for different markets. For example, children's and YA fiction may be printed for one department, while another may take care of a cookbook or a biography publication. Editors commonly work for a specific department. Smaller publishers specialize in a specific area such as horror, children's books or history.
Most new novel releases were initially published in hardcover. Physical stores are being eclipsed by online sales. As self publishing becomes more common and more authors try their hand at writing, the need for literary agents has increased.