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Careers in Publishing Research Project

July 11, 2021

Careers in Publishing

  1. Literary agent – The literary agent is a sales person who sells books to publishing companies through a literary agency or can be an independent agent. Literary agents represent writers who want publishing contracts. They are aiming to sell their writer’s work to a publisher.  Literary agents need to have a good understanding of the publishing business. Contracts only go over how much an author is actually paid. Agents need to have contacts in the publishing industry at large. A literary agent has to spend a lot of time reading in their niche, their industry of interest, and their specialty genre of choice. Writers trying to navigate the industry on their own do not fully understand the contract they try to establish with a publisher on their own.  At this time in my life, I know how to be a book coach, not a literary agent although I have to wonder how I can apprentice myself to a literary agent so I can learn things to be hired as a book coach. An agent is responsible for selling a finished manuscript to a publishing house.

  • Acquisitions Editor

The acquisitions editor is in charge of finding commercial books, academic papers, or other written projects either for print or digital production.  They work on a team with an employer’s objectives only because they read manuscripts with the need to stay on budget in mind. They are the ones who the literary agent negotiates royalties with as they are also inclined to finalize contracts for both new titles and reprints of books. The acquisitions editor also negotiates with photographers and illustrators.  An acquisitions editor needs to have a background in creative writing as a Bachelor’s or even better, a masters.

  • Commissioning Editor

A book publishing job, the commissioning editor is someone who makes sure an author does their work on time with transcripts delivered to what has been laid out and on time. They think of ideas of books, then go find authors to write them. They react to book proposals, or manuscripts, but they also work with other authors. They republish previously published books, or they co-publish books in other editions worked on by other companies.  A commissioning editor has to understand the market and the company’s place in that market as assumed. Project management, creative skills, and communication skills are all required as is linguistic sensitivity which I assume, means an understanding of language.

  • Senior Publicist

To become a senior publicist you have to know how to write a press release, run a publicity campaign, and have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Many publicists also have a master’s degree.  In my case, the master’s degree would be an MFA.  A publicist is a type of manager at the publishing house who runs the writer’s tour.

  • Book Coach

Jenny Nash runs a book coaching company is a resource I just found.  Both resources help me quite a bit with the fact that I want to help other people edit their books while also writing my own.

  • Marketing Manager

Publishing companies have publishing managers who take care of all publications for companies or clients.  A marketing manager is the primary interface between their company and the media.  They supervise staff working under them in the marketing department of the company.  Specific job duties include supervision, as well as but not limited to creating training materials for the staff.  The marketing manager is responsible for reviewing and editing print or otherwise, materials while also approving copy before publication. They would be the ones negotiating contracts or licensing agreements for books about to be published. A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or literature, but also having previous experience is the job requirement for a marketing manager. Managers need communication and manager skills.

  • Subsidiary Rights Associate Manager

The subsidiary rights associate manager is someone who takes care of the income shared between the publishing house and the author when a book is published. Books that sell 100,000 copies make the Best Seller list, and excerpts get into magazines. Book club rights come next at Book of The Month Club, the Literary Guild. Also taken care of by the subsidiary rights associate manager is the paperback reprint rights, the second serial where excerpts of a book get published in a News Paper, and foreign rights.  The best way to break into a job like this is to take an entry-level position in a subsidiary rights department.

  • Literary Scouts

Literary scouts are like talent scouts.  They look for literary talent while talent scouts look for someone with a specific look about them, or charisma, which translates into acting talent. Scouts read, read, read, they find new talent to sell to an editor.  The editor gets al their work from agents, who pile it onto the scout. Scouting is seen as one of the hardest jobs in all of publishing, as fast-paced job the scout does not always have control over, only because the scout’s job is to communicate with the literary agent. A scout must know the industry they are attached to.

  •  Publicist in Publishing

Publicists help an author maintain a public image.  They use many different types of communication tools like social media, to create a positive buzz about their client. They can work for independent publishers or in public relations.  An English or a business degree or another relevant degree is useful for them to have when choosing this sort of career. A publicist writes press releases, and helps an author conduct their book tour.  Publicists have flexible work hours but need to be on call a lot.

  1. Production Editor

The production editor at publishing companies works in the content department at a publication or publishing company.  The production editor coordinates each step towards publication of a magazine or book. Production editors edit manuscripts as well. The Production editors working with large staffs give out assignments to those under them and consequently, they choose relevant content to read or assign.

  1.  Sales Positions

So long as the bookstore still exists, there is a relationship between the bookseller and the sales rep at a publishing company.  Studying marketing, business, or communications will give you an edge in the competitive nature of working for publishing companies as well as having a Bachelor’s itself. You need to gain experience in the field of general sales for publishers. You can get an internship at a publishing house where this career move can help you build useful career contacts. You’ve got to familiarize yourself with the demographic on the target audience for a specific type of book.

  1. Copyeditor at publishing house

A copyeditor in such an environment gets to read new literature.  I was a copyeditor for Coreopsis for three years. Copy editors fix spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors while also refining the language a writer is using.  Copy editors work on manuscripts or shorter pieces such as online copy, an article that will be published or a newsletter. Some copyediting jobs are freelance, which means that a copyeditor can work around their schedule. Copyeditors know the AP Stylebook inside and out although the Chicago Manual of Style is what is used more than the AP Stylebook. You can find copyediting jobs on Reedsy, freelance sites including Indeed, and Upwork, and editorial societies’ job boards. Major publishers have postings that you can find on their database. Find a niche and stick with it.

  1.  Digital/social media editors

Digital editors are responsible for the content and imagery used on websites.  Social media editors are responsible for the content on social media that a company produces for their publicity efforts.  Digital editors research, then plan out while developing a way to implement web content. Their responsibilities include ways of creating, producing and managing high-quality content.  A digital editor helps make relationships with clients work, as well as relationships with other team members.  They have to know something about graphics, images, videos, and other artwork available. Not only are they in charge of graphics, but they are in charge of proofreading material also.  They use SEO rules to make pieces work as readable authorship, following the rules for copyright and privacy standards couched under company policies. They track important KPIs, also responsible for analyzing web traffic directed at their publishing houses’ company. Part of the job description relies on producing reports, but also to present them.  On top of everything else, the digital editor must keep track of new web technologies that are on the verge of coming out or have already come out.  Digital editors need a master’s degree in journalism, communications or English. 

  1. creative director –

A creative director works at a publishing house by leading a team of graphic designers, artists, or other creative professionals who are involved in collaborative idea making.  They are the supervisor of people in jobs such as copywriting, artists, and designers who are working to make a website, advertising, or email campaigns.  All report to a Chief Marketing Officer, or CMO, a role that makes major decisions, including approvals although graphic designers et. al do their work independently, showing good professional judgment.  Creative directing requires a bachelor’s degree or higher, in a background that is relevant to a specific industry, since an ability to work well under pressure is desired.

  1. advertising executive – publishing

Like on Melrose Place, advertising executives run advertising campaigns with teams. Advertising Executives need at least a Bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, or related fields.  An ability to be able to meet deadlines is necessary to get ahead in this field.  As a part of your job description, it is necessary to manage others. You could also need a Master’s in marketing or business, and also need to study product development and accounting.  Public relations is another subject an advertising executive could need to know about.  All jobs make you start off at the bottom and work your way up. 

  1. account executive at publishing house

Account executives need to have strong interpersonal skills, including but not limited to customer service.  They have to have a background in math, the way budgets work and they have to be good at time management. They do presentations with negotiating business deals in progress,  all while also solving problems. Writers make great account executives as they know how to express themselves via written communication. At a publishing house, account executives represent full service agencies offering ranges of creative services. Account executives serve as intermediaries between the agency and its clients.

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