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Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software, and other content available to the public for sale or for free.[1] Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as books, newspapers, and magazines. With the advent of digital information systems, the scope has expanded to include digital publishing such as ebooks, digital magazines, websites, social media, music, and video game publishing. The commercial publishing industry ranges from large multinational conglomerates such as News Corp, Pearson, Penguin Random House, and Thomson Reuters,[2] to major retail brands and thousands of small independent publishers. It has various divisions such as trade/retail publishing of fiction and non-fiction, educational publishing, and academic and scientific publishing.[3] Publishing is also undertaken by governments, civil society, and private companies for administrative or compliance requirements, business, research, advocacy, or public interest objectives.[4] This can include annual reports, research reports, market research, policy briefings, and technical reports. Self-publishing has become very common. "Publisher" can refer to a publishing company or organization, or to an individual who leads a publishing company, imprint, periodical, or newspaper. Stages of publishing The publishing process covering most magazine, journal and book publishers include: (Different stages are applicable to different types of publisher)[5] Commissioning Writing Copy editing Design Copywriting Typesetting Proofreading Correction cycles Indexing Final corrections Web publishing Prepress Printing Post press Distribution Marketing Types of publishers E-reader with an example book Bookshop 2023 Newspaper publishing Newspapers or news websites are publications of current reports, articles, and features written by journalists and are available for free, available for free with a premium edition, or paid for, either individually or on a subscription. They are filled with photographs or other media and normally subsidised with advertising. They can have local, national, and international news or feature a particular industry. They can charge premium prices when they have expertise and exclusive knowledge. They are intended to act in the public interest, hold people and businesses to account, and promote freedom of information and expression.[6] Editors manage the tone-of-voice of their publication, for example negative versus positive articles can affect the reader's perspective.[7] Journal publishing A journal is an academic or technical publication also available in digital formats, containing articles written by researchers, professors, and experts. These publications are specific in a particular field and often push the boundaries of human knowledge. They normally have peer review processes before publishing to test the validity and quality of the content.[8] Magazine publishing A magazine is a periodical published at regular intervals with creative layouts, photography, and illustrations that cover a particular subject or interest. They are available in print or digital formats and can be purchased on apps/websites like Readly or accessed for free on apps/websites like Issuu. Book publishing The global book publishing industry consists of books that are categorised into either fiction or non-fiction and print, ebook, or audiobook. The market for books is huge with around 1.5 billion people speaking English,[9] with translation services easily accessible to access the rest. The best content gets sold as TV and film rights.[peacock prose] Self-publishing makes publishing accessible to everyone either with small print-run digital printing or online self-publishing platforms. E-reader screen technology continues to improve with increasing contrast and resolution making them more comfortable to read. Each book has a registered ISBN number to identify it. Directory publishing Directories are searchable indexed data containing businesses, products, and services. These were in the past printed but are now mostly online. Directories are now available as searchable lists, on a map, as a sector specific portal, as a review site (expert or consumer), or as a comparison site. Although the businesses may not consider themselves as publishers, the way the data is displayed is published. Textbook publishing A textbook is an educational book or an ebook containing knowledge about a particular subject that is used by people studying certain subjects.[10] Textbook publishing continues to be needed due to the global need for education.[11][12] Textbooks from major publishers are being integrated with learning platforms for expert knowledge and access to a library of books with digital content.[13] A university press is an academic publisher run by a university. Oxford University Press is the largest in the world and specialises in research, education and English language teaching internationally.[14] Catalog Publishing A Catalog (or Catalogue) is a visual directory or list of a large range of products that you can browse and buy from a particular company.[15] In printed form, this is usually in the format of a soft-back book or directory. Smaller visual catalogs can be known as brochures. With the internet they have evolved into searchable databases of products known under the term e-commerce. Interactive catalogs and brochures like IKEA[16] and Avon[17] allow the customer to browse a full range if they have not decided on their purchase. Responsive web and app design will allow further integration between interactive catalog visuals and searchable product databases. Web publishing All the world's knowledge up to recently has been put in books. For accessibility and global reach, this content can be repurposed to the web. The British Library, for example, holds more than 170 million items, with 3 million new additions each year.[18] With consent, content can be published online through ebooks, audiobooks, CMS based websites, online learning platforms, videos, or mobile apps. Online, writers and copy editors are known as content writers and content editors, although their roles vary from their print based alternatives. Advertising Advertising can provide income or a subsidised income for publishers. If there is a return on investment (ROI) from the advertising, the publisher can make exponentially more money by increasing the spend. A ROI of up to £10 per £1 invested is possible, as seen in the John Lewis & Partners Christmas campaigns.[19][20] Likewise, any cost savings that harm the customer/consumer experience can affect a brand in the long term. Multichannel marketing can be more cost-effective at creating an immersive experience which can not be replicated with one channel. For example, think about a shop that has a small or no margin compared to a website, if you consider the shop as marketing spend, it is very cost-effective marketing, the shop is a huge billboard, you have a browsing experience that enables consumers to make purchasing decisions, they get to feel the brand, it has a presence in the community and creates jobs. Also using social media publishing to advertise has a good return on investment if you can create trending high quality content that reflects positively on the brand.