How to Get a Job in Book Publishing

Five Parts:Identifying Your Ideal Job in Book PublishingChoosing the Type of Book Publisher to Work ForChoosing Between Print and Online PublishersGetting Qualified for the Job You Want in Book PublishingApplying for Jobs in Book Publishing

Career options in book publishing include a variety of jobs ranging from editing and art design to sales and information technology. Larger book publishers have numerous departments that include human resources, finance, marketing, inventory, legal and digital production. To get a job in book publishing, consider the following strategies.

Part 1
Identifying Your Ideal Job in Book Publishing

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    Explore the various occupations, roles and tasks within the publishing industry. Writing, editing, art design and production are the more common publishing tasks. Writing marketable book titles, devising book marketing strategies, and selling books to wholesale and retail suppliers are other assignments.
    • Gather information about publishing occupations. Request informational interviews with people who work in the industry to learn detailed information about their roles and work environments. Reading job ads posted by publishers is also a good way to access descriptions of various roles.
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    Select an occupation that fits your strengths, interests and personality. If you have a gift for language and enjoy working alone, writing may be your ideal occupation. A detail-oriented critical thinker who communicates clearly with others might enjoy editing. If you are talented in creating visual images that communicate a theme, you might design book covers for book publishers.

Part 2
Choosing the Type of Book Publisher to Work For

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    Determine your preferences regarding the type of book publisher. A small book publisher might focus strictly on crime novels. An academic publisher might supply liberal arts textbooks for major universities. Large book publishers often publish a large variety of fiction and nonfiction on a wide range of topics.
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    Research the structure of several book publishers. Small companies often combine tasks in a single position that may require the attention of an entire department in a larger publishing house. For example, working in the sales department for a small publisher might require marketing tasks like researching target audiences and making sales phone calls to retailers. A large book publisher typically splits these tasks into 2 different departments: marketing and sales.

Part 3
Choosing Between Print and Online Publishers

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    Distinguish between print and online publishers. Many large book publishing companies offer both print and electronic versions of some books. Other companies focus strictly on print or e-books. The distinction is important, especially if you have a technology background and want to work in e-book publishing.

Part 4
Getting Qualified for the Job You Want in Book Publishing

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    Obtain the necessary skills for the publishing world. The type of degree, training and experience you need will depend on your position of choice. To work in the editorial department, you typically need a degree in English, journalism or communications, as well as editing experience. Working as a financial manager in book publishing typically requires a degree in finance and an understanding of publishing costs and potential revenue streams.

Part 5
Applying for Jobs in Book Publishing

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    Network with others in book publishing. Some positions in this field are highly competitive. Working as an editor or art designer for a reputable publisher is often more competitive, given few open slots and the high demand for these positions. Developing connections with people in the field might lead to recommendations for jobs.
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    Visit book publishing websites. Larger publishers typically post open positions in the career sections of their company websites.
    • Explore internships or entry-level positions. One way to get into book publishing is by applying for entry-level positions. These types of positions increase your exposure to the publishing process. They also allow for building relationships and demonstrating your potential.
    • Read the job postings carefully. Whether the ad is posted on a publisher's website or a job search engine, book publishers usually indicate a job description and required qualifications. Depending on the position, requirements might include a degree in a specific field, prior work experience and specific skills like word processing proficiency or familiarity with popular culture or an academic subject.
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    Submit a resume and cover letter. Book publishers work with the written word, so they are often more tuned into how an applicant uses written language. This is especially important when applying for writing, editing or marketing positions.
    • Review your application carefully before submission. Proofread your resume and cover letter carefully to eliminate any typos or vague language.
    • Ask someone in the publishing industry to review your application prior to submission. A careful review of your resume and cover letter by an experienced editor or publicist might lend important insights.

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Categories: Publishing