An independent publisher is privately held rather than being owned by a parent company or by a conglomerate. Independent publishers exist in all sizes and publish all types of books. One of the great things about independent presses is that they often have considerably more freedom to publish the books about which they are most passionate. No one knows exactly how many independent presses are out there, but estimates are in the range of 50,000 and up.
An e-book is a book distributed and read in electronic format. Instead of walking into a bookstore, to buy a book in an e-book format, you visit a Web site and purchase and download the digital file. You can then read the book on a computerized device such as a Palm Pilot, Pocket PC, laptop computer, or other device. There are all sorts of e-books available today (including popular fiction and nonfiction, textbooks, reference books, and most other genres), and they can be stored in a virtual library on your reading device—which can certainly make it easier to carry a lot of books on vacation or to school.
|Students, buy your online books. Instructors, preview a book, request a trial, or request adoption information.|
Arguably the most difficult type of publishing house to define, university presses wear several hats. For the most part, they are not-for-profit departments of universities, colleges, and museums that publish books for scholars and specialists. Nevertheless, university presses sometimes engage in trade publishing as well, marketing their books to the general consumer. To learn more about university presses, log on to the Web site of the Association of American University Presses, .
Textbooks are published by what the industry calls educational publishers. In addition to textbooks, educational publishers also publish all of the materials that complement the textbook—such as workbooks, tests, software, CD-ROMs, and maps. As you probably know, textbooks are published for all levels of students, from kindergartners through postgraduate students. “School” publishers publish textbooks and materials for kindergarten through 12th grade and “higher education” publishers publish for college and university students.