Book publishing has accelerated as an industry in the last few decades with the steady growth of pc technologies and new publishing techniques 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 increased by 1.3 percent 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 generally manage the advertising and advertising tasks and sub-contract the editorial and production process to small businesses, as book publishers rarely own printing presses and binderies. This trend, known as "book packaging," is gaining momentum as retail book chains and supermarkets have centralized their buying.
Even though, the publishing business is teeming with many book publishers, some of the nicely-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 companies publish material on diverse topics ranging from entertainment, fiction, non-fiction, management, art, architecture, photography to day to day issues like cooking, pet care, gardening, etc.
Lately, Western publishing industry has been shrouded with controversy as large company houses have purchased or merged a substantial quantity of important publishing houses and bookstores to create a monopoly in the marketplace. This has resulted in an elevated 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 common.