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Working in book publishing combines a love of books with a keen sense of business; editing, sales, marketing and production are just a few of the paths that careers in book publishing can take. Employment environments in this cultural sector are varied: you could work for a large or small press, a literary press, university press, scholarly or educational press.

Like any other career, there is no right or surefire way to get a job in publishing. Here are some tips to keep in mind while you pursue a career in book publishing.

The Pay Is Low

There are many other fields that are more lucrative than book publishing, but those who work in this industry have a love for books that increases the value of the career. Publishers generally cannot afford to pay their staff high salaries, and a typical entry-level job in publishing pays roughly between $25,000 and $30,000 per year. The publishing industry trade paper Quill & Quire performed a publishing industry salary survey in 2013. You may view it here.  Please contact Quill & Quire directly for more information.

Decide What Area Of Publishing Interests You

As mentioned above, there are many different types of publishing firms. Determine what type of book, or books, you would like to work on - novels, poetry, textbooks, non-fiction, etc. - and then find out which companies publish those books by visiting the library, a bookstore, or taking a close look at our membership directory.

Editorial vs. Sales & Marketing vs. Production

What type of job do you want? In publishing there are three main areas: editorial, sales and marketing, and production. Editorial staff helps to create books; sales and marketing staff sells them; and the production team ensures that books are made properly. Some companies also handle their own distribution, in which case there are warehouse jobs available. For the artistically inclined, many firms also need in-house designers. Research about jobs will help you determine where your interest lies and what jobs would best suit you.

Related Jobs

Related jobs outside of book publishing are often a good way to get into the book industry. A job at a bookstore would expose you to an important facet of book publishing, and you'll likely come in contact with sales representatives, who routinely visit bookstores on sales calls. Their visits allow you to learn about each company's publishing program and potentially establish a contact person inside a publishing firm.

Jobs are available at various industry associations and at authors' festivals and book fairs. Any kind of exposure to books and the book industry will help.