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How to become a Publisher

avg. starting salary

Want to get into publishing? Must be interested in books (or magazines, or music, or newspapers, get the idea). Publishers are in charge of printing and broadcasting a range of media content, making it accessible to audiences on a variety of platforms. They overlook the publishing process, and deal with the selection, planning, funding, and reviewing of works prior to their publication. Some types of Publishers (e.g. desktop) may also be required to manage and design the format, graphics, and layout of a piece of work. Although Publishers are most commonly associated with dealing with content for magazines, newspapers, and books – many are also responsible for publishing music, software, and copy on online. General duties for a Publisher could include:
  • Reading and reviewing submissions and providing feedback
  • Ensuring published content is in line with company objectives
  • Building and maintaining relationships with trade publications, distributing channels, and bookstores
  • Preparing and negotiating contracts
  • Estimating costs and handling payments
  • Liaising with and supervising members of the staff
  • Recruiting for the wider publishing team (e.g. copywriters, illustrators, advertisers)

Aspiring Publishers will need an understanding of a range of up-to-date marketing and publishing techniques – alongside an excellent knowledge and awareness of popular content in the publishing world. And because the majority of the role is based around communication and negotiation, you must also have an ability to network, build relationships, and liaise effectively (and professionally) with all kinds of people. Skills in the English language are similarly essential, to ensure only good quality content is published. You will also need to be:
  • Able to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • Organised
  • Detail oriented
  • Able to recognise good content
  • Good at multitasking
  • Familiar with office applications and specialist computer programmes


Editorial Assistant

Up to £18,000


Up to £35,000

Publishing Manager

Up to £40,000

"After interning at a local book publisher in the summers off from uni, I was able to start as an Editorial Assistant once I graduated. From there, I progressed upwards to Publisher – and even had the opportunity to move onto a larger scale publishing house (one which actually publishes my favourite book). Although it’s full-on, I love my job, and reading and editing manuscripts is really exciting – although it’s not the only thing I do. My day-to-day mainly consists of communicating with the team and negotiating with external clients to ensure everything we publish is ‘on brand’ and of high quality. I also deal with contracts and payments – which is a huge responsibility."

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