How To Become A Book Publisher
Publishing is a great field for those who want to help promote the world of literature. You will be responsible for finding the latest and greatest authors, and bringing them into the public spotlight. You will also be responsible for making sure that the books that you publish succeed financially, by marketing and publicizing them.
Why Become A Book Publisher
There’s a lot involved in the process of bringing a book to life. When an author wants to publish a book, they have an agent who represents them. The agent then brings the manuscript to a book publisher. The book publisher decides whether or not to publish a book.
A book publisher has a lot of responsibilities. As a publisher, you get to decide which books to publish each year. A publishing company gets many submissions each year, and can only accept a select few books to be printed. Publishers need to select which books will help increase profits for their company. They will also be responsible for marketing and sales of the books that are published each year.
Book Publishers should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Business Savvy
- Big Picture Thinker
- Great Presentation Skills
- Good Communicator
Book Publisher Work Environment
Book publishers work in publishing houses. There is great diversity in the publishing industry; a publishing house may be a large corporation with thousands of employees, or a small publisher with only a few staff members. Often book publishers work in an office, where they spend their days meeting with coworkers, clients, and looking over manuscripts of books.
As a book publisher, much of your career will also be spent traveling. Publishers go to book shows to see the latest books that are being published; they go to conferences to meet and network with people in their industry; they visit factories and offices away from their publishing house.
A book publisher can do a lot of their work remotely. Replying to emails and reading electronic manuscripts can all be done on a laptop computer or smartphone, which allows a publisher to work from home or while traveling. This gives a publisher more freedom in their work environment, instead of working from their office every day.
Book Publisher Salary
A book publisher’s salary is highly dependent on the environment in which they work. In 2015, the average salary for an entry-level book publisher was $35,000. This salary could increase to as much as $140,000 for book publishers who work for one of the major publishing houses and have several years of experience in the industry. The United States Bureau of Labor Statics reported that the average salary was $62,440.
Many people choose to start their own publishing company. In this case, a publisher would be able to set their own salary.
Book Publisher Career Outlook
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the publishing industry will see little to no growth from 2012-2022. Educational texts are always needed, however most universities have their own university presses. The most growth in the publishing industry was seen in juvenile and young adult literature, at 4 percent. The majority of job opportunities in publishing are available in metropolitan areas such as New York City and Los Angeles.
Book Publisher Degree
There is no specific educational pathway that a person needs to take in order to become a book publisher. When applying for a job as a book publisher, your years of experience in the field will be more important than your education. However, there are certain steps you can take to be prepared for when you apply for this position.
Step 1: Undergraduate Education A degree in English, creative writing, journalism or communications will give you a solid foundation in the writing and reading skills you need to be a book publisher. Also, consider taking business courses in marketing, public speaking and related courses. These will help you someday be the leader of a publishing house.
Step 2: Internships Internships are a necessity while you are going to college. This is a great way to decide if working in publishing is the correct field for you. It is also a way to network with people in the publishing industry and potentially land your first job in publishing after graduation. Apply to publishing houses that you are interested in and get an internship during the semester or summer break.
Step 3: Entry-Level Work One day you might want to work as the owner of a publishing house, but everybody has to start at the beginning. Your first job at a publishing house will probably be as an assistant, which will involve lots of office and administrative work, accepting manuscripts from authors, answering phone calls and emails, scheduling meetings and more. As you show that you are dependable, reliable and have passion for the field, you will be promoted within the publishing industry.
Step 4: Start Your Own Business As an alternative to looking for work at another company, many people interested in publishing are starting their own publishing houses. This requires start-up funding and quite a bit of business sense, but many people who enjoy working for themselves find starting their own company enjoyable. This gives publishers the ability to carve out a niche that might not be addressed right now in the literary world. It gives publishers more freedom to set their own salary and working hours.