During the late 19th cent. and throughout the 20th cent., specialization has been an increasingly important factor in book publishing. Music publishing became a completely separate business, as did map publishing. Some publishing houses now specialize in religious books, textbooks, art books, technical books, and children's books. Frequently a house issuing works for the general trade may also have a strong textbook department, juvenile division, or reference department. A house founded for more or less special purposes may broaden its scope, as sometimes happens with the university press.
In the late 19th and 20th cent., specialization also grew within publishing houses. Editorial departments became distinct from production, and both were quite separate from the sales or marketing departments. Publishers also specialized in the means by which their books were distributed. Trade books are fiction and nonfiction books sold to readers primarily through bookstores, whereas textbooks are directed toward school boards and faculty for use by students in the classroom. Many volumes are issued with the book club market in mind.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.