Friday, 23 January 2015

Importance of books as a means of mass communication


The industrial revolution, which was responsible for most of the technological innovations of the mass media, was the direct result of technical knowledge recorded as transmitted through print. The industrial revolution could not have occurred without the technical knowledge made possible by print, through its ability to record, transmit, and augment what went on before.

Categories of Books :
The categories of books include trade books, paperback books, textbooks and professional books. Trade books are general interest books sold in bookstores. They present a tremendous gamble, only 5 percent sell well enough to recover the investment made by the publisher. Paperbacks are primarily reprints of books that were. originally published in hardcover, but as the paperback industry develops in stature, some authors
have found it advantageous to sell directly to a paperback company.

Unlike most trade books, textbooks can sell for many years. The markets are smaller but easier for publishers to identify and reach. Revisions are published every three to five years and some textbooks continue to sell for six to eight editions. The last category of books called professional books, are written by specialists for other specialists to read.

Book Publication :
Book publishing has three primary functions: editorial, production, and marketing. The marketing of books has been refined in recent years, but it still includes distribution of complimentary copies to reviewers and various other strategies for getting books to the best-seller lists. One of the best ways to insure substantial sales is for an author who has a lively personality to be a guest on one of the popular television shows. Book clubs and serialization are also utilized by publishers.

The major difference between mass-market paperbacks and hardcover books is. their distribution. Paperbacks are treated essentially as magazines and are distributed by wholesalers, while hardbacks are sold primarily through bookstores and book clubs.

Readership studies offer contradictory insights into the health of the book business. On the one hand, there are increases in the total number of books being sold and apparently read; on the other, apparent decreases in the numbers of young and elderly readers may pose a threat to the long-term health of book publishing.

Books, traditionally the freest of the media, in terms of content, retain that freedom when published in hardcover and given limited distribution, but they face increasing public hostility when questionable content is widely circulated in paperback form. As book publishing becomes more and more market conscious, the essential libertarian-ism of the product may diminish.

Despite widespread arguments concerning whether the book is a dying medium in this age of electronics, we gamer from expert testimony and current policies that the medium is adjusting to changes in technology and will continue, although in one of several modified forms, to serve the needs of consumers who will expect individualized information, consumable upon demand.

Books as Medium of Mass Communication :

Books are a medium of mass communication that deeply affects all our lives. Books convey much of the heritage of the past, help us understand ourselves and the world we live in, and enable us to plan for the future. They are a significant tool of our educational process. They stimulate our imagination, and they provide entertainment for people of every age.

The nation’s current educational, business, and social life could not survive long without books, Judges and attorneys must examine law terms and their computerized indices continually; doctors constantly refer to the repositories of medical wisdom and experience; government officials must be aware of all the ramifications of new legislation. Teachers and students find in textbooks the vast knowledge of history, philosophy, the sciences, the arts, literature, and the social sciences accumulated through the ages. People in every walk of life read to keep abreast of a fast-changing world, to find inspiration, relaxation, and pleasure, and to gain knowledge. Books explain, question, and interpret-nearly every aspect of life.

The literary record has been one of the hallmarks by which each succeeding world civilization has been measured: the works of Plato and Aristotle, for example, both reflected and refined the quality of life in Greece. These philosophers and others of their time had no books, but created them for us. Social historians have long examined creative literature as well as the factual records of a civilization in their efforts to reconstruct the life of the people of a particular time and place. Today the finest published fiction has a reverberating impact upon society. The ideas and techniques employed by fiction writers have an enormous effect on theater, movie, and television scripts. Many outstanding productions result from the book publisher’s enterprise in encouraging and promoting both new and established authors. Creative writing enhances most. of the art forms by which our civilization will one day be judged.

Whether they are paperbacks or hardcover volumes, books provide a permanence characteristic of no other communications medium. Newspaper reporters and radio-television commentators address a large audience, but their materials quickly disappear. Videocassettes, audiotapes, recording, motion pictures, and microfilm may deteriorate through the years. Magazines, especially those printed on high-quality paper and bound into volumes, may have extremely long lives, but most get thrown out with the trash.

For the mass communicator, books perform several important functions.

Types of Books :

1. Trade books, marketed to the general consumer and sold mainly through bookstores and to libraries.
2. Religious books.
3. Mass-market paperbacks, sold mainly through newsstands and chain retail stores.
4. Professional books, such as medical, technical, legal, scientific and business works.
5. Book clubs, actually a marketing channel for books issued by other publishers.
6. Mail-order publications, created to be marketed by direct mail to the consumer, frequently as part of a continuing series related to a particular topic.
7. University or academic presses, non-profit adjuncts of universities, museums, and research institutions, mainly concentrating on scholarly or regional topics.
8. Elementary and secondary textbooks (called school textbooks), hard or soft-cover texts and manuals, maps, and other items for classroom use, mainly sold in bulk to school districts.
9. College textbooks, hard or soft-cover volumes and audio, visual materials; the texts are sometimes similar to trade books.
10. Standardized texts, for schools, colleges and universities, and industry.
11. Subscription reference books, mainly sets of encyclopedias sold through the mail or door-to-door, as well as dictionaries, atlases, and similar works.

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