Types of publishing

Types of publishing

When you work in publishing or consume content in relation to this subject, you get to see that there exists a range of publishing categories as well genres that abound. What are these categories? You may ask. And how are they defined? When you forward these questions to people, they will mostly tell you that they know about fiction and non-fiction classes of writing. However, when you look beyond that, you get to see that there are genres such as romance or crime which are picked up as the subject matter of the book. Publishers, on the other hand, may choose to specialise in an area and for them, these categories are different but more often concurrent.

Trade publishing

This type of publishing happens to be the biggest category. It entails books that are for the general reading market and for wider public consumption. Trade books make up more than half of the English book market and trade publishers acquire rights to publish and sell books. How such types of books are sold traditionally is through physical bookshops but other sales occur online. Small publishers at times partner with trade publishers in order for them to increase their distribution and promotion.

Trade publishers can sometimes specialise in different genres such as Children and young adult and scholarly and education. For children and young adult, this publishing category also includes books that are originally intended for adults but at the same time, are suitable for children. Children’s books are often characterised by clear morals and colourful illustrations and they make up a part of the wider oral tradition of storytelling which can include traditional rhymes and fairy tales.

For Young Adult, this category came up around the 1920s and is a more modern invention. It appreciated the middle ground between child and adult. Young Adult is aimed at readers in their late teens which often can include anything from a lower age such as 12 to age 25. Usually, however, the core range is 14 to 19. What Young Adult features is fiction genres mostly as well as highlighting the challenges of youth and coming of age.

Scholarly and educational publishing (Academic publishing)

The academic press is a major category of publishers. What this category does is that it focuses on bringing in research or educational materials, it also requires text to conform to a specifically approved standard. These standards can include references, bibliographies and even footnotes. Educational publishers dominate the textbook market. This market involves having commercial products which are aimed at schools and universities. They can be bought by educational establishments or even individuals, however, they are mostly tailored around a particular syllabus.

Independent and regional publishers

These publishers include small presses that print books that are of local and regional interest. They usually have fewer resources compared to bigger players but at the same time, they work in geographically smaller or more dedicated markets. These markets sell works by local authors, they sell local history books and information pamphlets too.

Boutique press

This involves small publishing houses that specialise in narrow subject areas. For genres that demand a greater level of expertise or those that are only saleable to limited market shares, that is where they are more common.

Electronic publishing

This is becoming more common in the industry. As some big trade publishers produce both print and electronic copy, some publishers are now providing an inexpensive method of publishing compared to traditional publishing. This is mostly for people who are not interested in their work being in print or for authors whose wish is to break into the market for the first time.

Contract publishers, vanity and self-publishers

An author is allowed to commission the publication of their own work either in print or online with these types of publishers. Some cases which lead to this type of publishing include authors who may wish to avoid the middleman and get as many copies as they want to sell. At times it could be a company that wishes to publish its history or biography as a gift for customers. Here at Epsilon Publishers, we are contract publishers and we have worked with individuals and organisations as well to help tell their stories or pass across their messages to the intended audience. The customer is the one who usually pays for the publishing costs including the design, editing, printing et cetera.

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