Book publishing has accelerated as an business in the final couple of decades with the steady development of pc technologies and new publishing methods like digital information systems and the Web. According to figures released by the Association of American Publishers (AAP), net sales for the whole United States publishing industry are estimated to have elevated by 1.3 % from 2003 to 2004 to a grand total of $23.72 billion. This clearly indicates the publishers or the book publishing businesses are reaping the benefits of the trade.
Most of the publishers or the book publishing businesses usually control the marketing and advertising tasks and sub-contract the editorial and production process to little companies, as book publishers rarely own printing presses and binderies. This trend, recognized as "book packaging," is gaining momentum as retail book chains and supermarkets have centralized their purchasing.
Even though, the publishing business is teeming with many book publishers, some of the well-recognized names in the industry are: McGraw Hills Businesses, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group, Reed Elsevier, W.W. Norton & Company Inc., Macmillan Publishers Ltd., Longman Publishers USA, Pearson to name a couple of. These businesses publish material on diverse topics ranging from entertainment, fiction, non-fiction, management, art, architecture, photography to day to day problems like cooking, pet care, gardening, and so on.
Lately, Western publishing industry has been shrouded with controversy as large company houses have bought or merged a substantial number of important publishing homes and bookstores to create a monopoly in the market. This has resulted in an increased concentration of nicely-known authors to augment the marketplace share of bestsellers. The growing commercialization in the publishing business has become a matter of concern not only for critics but also for writers in general.