The publishing industry has changed beyond recognition with regard to the ways in which ‘content’ is commissioned, produced, developed and then prepared for distribution to its markets; and the ways in which that distribution occurs. These changes have affected all sectors of publishing, as represented by traditional publishing companies and by non-traditional distributors of print and electronic content such as financial institutions.
Publishing is still seen as an attractive career prospect and the skills required to succeed in one sector of publishing are readily transferred to another. Publishing covers both paper based and electronic products: include books, journals, magazines, newspapers and corporate literature; and IT is increasingly licensing individuals to act as publishers.
The output from book publishing houses is now exceeded by the output from non-publishing companies including legal firms, PR companies and accountants. Price Waterhouse, for example, has a publishing output equivalent to a medium-sized publishing house. Yet this is only incidental to their core business. Publishing skills are now recognised by non-publishers: a further example is Deloitte & Touche and their own investment in a publishing division.
Jobs within publishing are increasingly encroaching on other fields, particularly in printing. The old nomenclature of the 20th Century no longer applies. The project editor, the editorial designer, the information architect, and the project production director all call upon skills that were once solely the province of individual apprenticeships.
The Institute of Publishing, founded in November 1998 and launched March 2000 at the London Book Fair, aims at changing publishing from an industry into a profession. It is aimed at individuals who, by becoming a member, become a professional. If standards matter, if you believe that 'dumbing down' is evident and widespread, do something about it. Doing something included debates at the London Book Fair (presented by the IP in association with Deloitte & Touche) with the movers and shakers of the publishing industry with three free seminars - Who Needs Publishers? Who Needs Booksellers? Who Needs Freelancers?
In 2005, the Institute of Publishing joined the Institute of Printing and the Institute of Paper to form IP3.
We're all publishers now: IP3 is for you.