Publishers lead the companies that produce novels, newspapers, magazines, books and scholarly journals. They oversee all facets of publishing, from the early stages of development (information acquisition and writing) through to editing, printing, marketing and distribution. If you love books and literature, this is a job you could enjoy.
See Also: How to Find a Job in Journalism
1. What Do Publishers Do?
Although duties for publishers may vary depending on the nature of publishing house they lead, their work generally involves:
- Developing and implementing publishing policies
- Hiring and leading a publishing team that includes managing editors, developmental editors, copy editors and researchers
- Overseeing the process of acquiring manuscripts or signing up authors
- Ensuring the publishing process adheres to ethical aspects
- Resolving any issues that may arise between editors and authors, writers or contributors
- Holding negotiations with authors to determine the number of copies to be produced (negotiating publishing contracts)
- Ensuring publications are printed on time
- Setting prices for various publications
- Working with marketing and distribution departments to create strategies for increasing copy sales
- Managing subsidiary rights on behalf of authors
2. Work Environment
Publishers usually work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Occasionally, they attend promotional events during the weekends.
Publishers work in a standard office environment, where they interact with computers and hold meetings with the publishing team.
According to Indeed, publishers in the US earn an average annual salary of $64,000.
4. Entry Requirements
You need several years of experience in the publishing industry and the right education to become a publisher.
The journey begins in undergraduate, where you should obtain a bachelor’s degree in wiring and publishing. The program will equip you with the knowledge of book publishing, magazine publishing, and enhance your writing skills.
Some of the few colleges offering this degree include:
- Emerson College, Massachusetts
- Illinois State University, Illinois
It is also possible to get started with a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications.
With an undergraduate degree, you can be hired as a journalist, magazine writer or even editor. Use the position to gain occupational experience and learn more about the publishing industry.
To ready yourself for senior publishing jobs, supplement you undergraduate training and work experience with a master’s degree in publishing, like the one offered at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania.
5. Career Development
Upon earning your graduate degree, you may advance to become an associate publisher, and finally a publisher.
After that, secure membership in the Association of American Publishers. You will be able to secure invites to industry events, where you can meet with other authors. Other membership benefits include:
• Access to job postings
• Access to industry statistical data and analytics
6. Important Qualities
- Strong leadership and supervisory skills
- An intricate understanding of the publishing industry
- Strong business skills
- A keen attention to details
- Excellent communication skills
- Good negotiation skills
- The ability to network and build professional relationships
- Good time management skills
- Project management skills
- Good computer skills
- Good organizing, planning and coordinating skills
- An awareness of emerging publishing trends
- A passion for books and other literary works
7. Job Opportunities
- Owners of magazine companies
- Owners of book/journal publishing companies
- Other print and digital media firms
- College and universities that produce scholarly/academic journals
Experienced publishers can move into self-employment and establish their own publishing firms. Those who obtain a post-graduate degree, such as a doctorate in publishing can advance to become lecturers in colleges and universities that offer publishing courses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the publishing industry only creates a few hundreds of jobs a month, so expect to face a lot of competition.
It takes a passion for reading and a desire to influence the quality of content – be it academic or otherwise – people read to thrive in this profession. If you have that, combine with the right professional training, you will surerly become a publisher.