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.
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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.
Does working with professional studies and dissertations sound intriguing? Then professional and scholarly publishing is for you! Professional and scholarly publishers produce books and journals specifically written for and marketed to professionals in a wide variety of industries, such as medicine, law, business, technology, science, and the humanities. Professional and scholarly publishing is often referred to as STM—scientific, technical, and medical publishing. For more information, visit the website of the AAP Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division, .