Publishing is simple -you find readers for writers.
That used to mean hours of typing, glueing, sharpening pencils and sending a boy on a bicycle to the bookshop. But publishing has changed.
Today Publishing sits at the intersection between the creative and tech worlds, making beautiful books – or apps or platforms or databases – and getting them to more readers,in more amazing ways.
So whether you’re an illustrator, a graphic designer, a media strategist, a front end developer, or a book-a-day kind of reader, publishing wants you!
Who’s in publishing?
Without Writers, there would be no publishing. That’s Obvious. But its not all just sitting in cafes waiting for that line of dialogue to reveal itself – writing great reports, copy or marketing material is a vital part of the publishing process, and in children’s publishing, or educational, you might even find yourself writing the books themselves.
If you’re the sort of reader who just can’t stop, you might be an editor. You’ll need to devour books, then describe them in 10 words to your colleagues. You’ll need to pick a winner out of 20 possible manuscripts. And then you’ll work closely with the writer to develop it.
Could you read a novel and encapsulate it with a single image that is sure to make it sell? And it’s not just book covers. Beautiful books, apps and platforms are designed at every level, from the font in the running headers and the depth of every margin, to the table formatting and the author photo. Publishing houses thrive on great design.
Finding readers is what a publishing house is all about, whether it’s academic, educational or trade. And the marketer has a vital role to play in that. Identify your audience, and get to them, using every insight and metric you have. Tube campaigns, social media blitzes, or good old fashioned direct mail – whatever it takes to get books to their readers. And as publishing houses start to talk directly to their consumers, you’ll be more crucial than ever.
A book publicist work hard to make sure as many people as humanly possible hear about their books. That means calling up journalists, emailing bloggers , travelling to literary festivals and doing everything they can to secure a TV, radio or newspaper coverage for their authors. They are part-managers, part-promoters, part-hypeman, and they’re always full on.
Modern publishing needs developers. From mini-sites for data capture, to full- blown eCommerce platforms, to iOS and HTML5 reading experiences, to robust, massive databases for academic research, publishing needs people who understand that great code is as important and impressive as a great character.
The brand manager
Can you sell a world? In the rights and licensing department at a publishing house, it’s your job to take writers and their stories and find partnerships to bring the brand to a whole new audience. That might be through international publishing deals, or through innovative merchandising TV, app or film deals – the only limit is your imagination.
An international trade fair or a Cotswolds bookshop – you can sell books wherever you are. A publisher’s sales team is critical. As an account executive, you might have responsibility for independent London bookshops, or all of the Middle East, or you could be selling annual online subscriptions to US universities for thousands of dollar – as the products change so do you.
Whether it’s a £50 reading license or a multi-million dollar international negotiation, everything a publisher does requires copper-bottomed contracts and top notch legal advice. Publishing is licensing business – so the licences had better be perfect.
200 new product lines a year, separately accounted – and that’s just a small publisher! Publishing offers an ambitious accountant an opportunity to make a big difference, making sure that authors, bookshops, editors and salespeople know exactly what going on across 100s of different projects.
The operations expert
A publishing business is complicated. Whether it’s children’s books or academic resources, you have a lots of people working together to get the words from writers to readers – and that means operations is everything. If you’re business- savvy, and love nothing more than finding solutions that saves times, money or unnecessary effort, publishing offers an enormous opportunity.
Visit publishers.org.uk/workinginpublishing to find out more.