Salaries in Publishing

So how much money do publishing jobs pay?

That’s the question, right?  I doubt many people enter the publishing industry purely due to financial motivators.  I’d like to think most people have at least some semblance of passion for the industry or for writing in general.  Having a job you enjoy is great and all, but money matters.  In general, people don’t work for free.

Salary Disparity Between Agencies

The trouble with discussing publishing salaries in general terms is that the factors and variables which combine to form a specific salary fluctuate incredibly.  For example, a book editor for one agency can make as much as $80,000 while a person doing the same job for a different agency might only make $35,000.  If one examines other positions within the publishing industry, you will find that such inconsistency is much more common than uncommon.

Salary Disparity from City to City

However, it isn’t only a variance from agency to agency.  Environmental factors weigh heavily on the salaries offered.  For example, according to data collected by Indeed.com, the salaried positions in NYC pay 14% more than the national average.  Considering the cost of living in NYC is estimated to be 49% higher than the US average, it changes the way that 14% salary boost is perceived.

Salary Disparity Depending on Work Experience

Another important factor in determining publishing salaries is an employee’s work history and experience.  For example, browsing job listings showed that entry level candidates should expect to earn significantly less than a candidate entering with multiple years of experience in the industry.  In some cases, the disparity was as large as ~30% ($45,000 vs. $58,000).

Disparity Between Job Duties (Is It Worth It?)

The grass isn’t always greener.  Keep that in mind.  It’s important to be aware that the job duties and responsibilities of a particular position can vary significantly from one employer to another.  For example, when comparing job listings for Editorial Assistants, such fluctuation is apparent.  Different agencies have different expectations for their particular positions.  As a potential employee, it is important to consider if a higher salary for one agency is worth any potential added job responsibilities.  By the same token, some people might be glad to take slightly lower salaries if it results in a lower-stress environment.  In the end, it is ultimately about both choice and weighing benefits vs. costs.

Examples

As I have tried to make crystal clear, it is virtually impossible to establish an “average salary” for a particular position within the publishing industry.  Not all agencies utilize the same set of staff positions, and some agencies double or triple (or more and more) up on job duties.  That being said, I have browsed listings and self-reported salaries for an assortment of publishing jobs.  Below you will see a list of salary averages for each position.  Remember, these salaries are dependent upon several factors and absolutely should not be taken as verse.  They are simply a rough guideline for what a person might expect when entering into a position in the industry.

Lots of Numbers

Book Editors – $62,000
Managing Editor – $76,000
Editorial Assistant – $33,000
Copy Editors – $41,000
Literary Agents – $60,000 (HUGE range. Huge.)
Literary Scouts – $48,000
Publicists – $44,000
Production Editors – $47,000
Marketers/Copy Writers – $47,000
Sales – $SomeNumberThatHasTooManyVariables
Photographers – Mostly Freelance, so payment has a wide range
Art Editor – $34,000
Commissioning Editor – $55,000
Translator – $50,000
Web Content Manager – $94,000 (One of the most consistent salaries)
Publishing Editor – $45,000
Magazine Features Editor – $52,000
Proof-reader – $45,000
Publishing Rights Manager – $30,000

Discussion Questions

  1. If you were to take a position within the publishing industry, do you think you would prefer a higher salary with more job responsibilities or a lower salary with fewer job responsibilities?
  2. After looking at these salary “averages,” do any of them stand out to you in either a good or bad way?  Do any seem higher than you might have expected?  Do any seem lower than you expected?
  3. Are there any publishing jobs not listed here that you would like to look into in regards to earnings?
  4. For anyone considering a career in publishing, does seeing the consistency present among the digital media-related publishing careers, does it affect how you might approach your job search and/or skill building?
  5. The majority of publishing jobs are located in areas with a higher-than-average cost of living.  Do you think it would be worth it to take what could proportionally be a pay decrease in order to take a position in one of these areas?  Do you believe the potential for additional networking and/or exposure outweighs the loss in purchasing power?

Sources

https://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk
https://www.thebalance.com/top-book-publishing-jobs-2316066
http://www.indeed.com
http://www.glassdoor.com
http://www.shmoop.com/careers
http://www.monster.com
http://www.payscale.com
http://www1.salary.com

Advertisements

How to get a job in Publishing

 

meme

So, you’ve decided to do it. After countless hours of contemplation, academic pressure, and soul searching as a writer, you’ve decided to pursue a career in publishing.

The easy part is over.

Publishing is not a profession you jump right into. One can’t just decide at random to pursue a career and expect to quickly immerse themselves in the publishing world. The essential element for anyone wanting to pursue a career is to have a vision. Without a vision, you essentially rely on a semirandom assortment of events; why leave your career to chance?

A degree followed by master’s degree is a key element as well. Typically, a simple Bachelor’s degree doesn’t separate one applicant over another. A master’s degree shows your commitment to your vision of a career in publishing. Today though, that’s not quite enough to get your edge over your competition. Including previous works that have been published shows everything they need to know about you as a person.

Your published works are your reputation. A good reputation is built over time, but one false step can keep you from that dream job. A false step really depends on the circumstances around it but in general: keep your social media clear of anything offensive or inflammatory, and stay out of trouble with the law.

The degree of difficulty of the application process depends on what publisher one is applying to. An independent publisher specializing in a topic may seek someone with insight into that subject. One seeking employment with a big 5 publishers will have major competition. There is no definitive way to set yourself apart being that this is completely subjective. But if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

-Evan

  1. What sets you apart from others that would make you a good candidate?
  2. If you are planning to go into the publishing world, have you prepared adequately?

Sources:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2017/5-ways-redesign-career-publishing/

http://www.newpages.com/writers-resources

https://thesyp.org.uk/how-do-i-get-a-job-in-publishing/

 

 

 

 

Effects of Digital Media

The “digital revolution” has singly handily changed the traditional publishing. Digital Media is only one of the forms of the “digital revolution”. With the rise of sales in ebooks, many thought that hard copies of books will be long gone. With the rise of the digital revolution, we also saw the rise of digital media. Digital media does provide a cheaper and easier form of marketing for publishers and authors. But as digital media grows and evolves, it has also become harder for authors to get their name out there. It also helps the publishers to provide a cheaper way of marketing.

“As social media platforms evolve, adding new tools, mobile offerings, and enhanced personalization, indie authors are evolving with them. Facebook, Twitter, and the other major platforms are more crowded than ever, requiring authors to find more creative ways to be heard above the noise.” There is so much more to marketing using digital media than  simply making an account and posting, “Buy My Book!” While using these sites is cheap, there does have to be some money put to get your name around.

WAYS TO GET YOUR GAIN AN AUDIENCE:

  1. On most of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, you can pay to promote your account and your posts.
  2. Google Ads are a big hit with a lot of self- publishers.
  3. Post Videos on Youtube
  4. Make connections with other authors in the same genre. They can post about your book to help you.
  5. Live streaming on social media. Authors can post live videos to help interact with their readers, such as Q & As.
  6. A interactive website is also a big hit with authors. You can post excerpts along with other things.

 

RESOURCES:

  1. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/69047-what-does-2016-hold-for-digital.html
  2. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/72078-social-media-marketing-evolves.html
  3. http://www.pubexec.com/post/digital-revolution-disruptive-publishers-major-vendors/

 

 

Shifts in Marketing Strategies

bigstock-marketing-education-concept-53943913

The market of publishing has shifted as the age of social media has come into the world. This has created a new outlet to advertise books and push for the consumers to buy the books at hand. The publishers marketing strategies had to shift in recent years to keep up with the ever-changing social trends of the internet. Kristin Fassler, VP, Director of Marketing at Penguin Random House, voiced her opinion on the matter saying, “publishers will have to be much more imaginative and innovative as they experiment with different social platforms [and] manage social advertising budgets.” This shift in what the consumers want has made the marketers have to change their way of thinking about how they need to go about selling their product.

In recent years marketing in general has taken a leap from the typical cookie cutter fluff to build a companies brand into what we see today as ultimately a paradigm shift. Researching this paradigm shift I found that there are three parts that created this shift.

  1. Consumers do not want to be bombarded with advertisements every two seconds. From advertisements on their social networks to spam mail, this does not make the consumer want to buy, but instead avoid the product out of pure annoyance. This proved that the customer wanted the brand to care about them, not just hassle them for their money or time.
  2. Have you ever been browsing on the internet and looked up one item, and then for the rest of the day all of the ads on your computer were about this item or products similar? This is not a coincidence. Now marketers have figured out how to use data that they collected to better understand what their consumers want. By listening to this they have learned what we like and what we want in our products. Marketers are using their “access to data and dedication to ‘optimization’ that makes real time marketing possible. They can reach consumers on an individual level — and meet their needs.” Instead of guessing what an individual consumer may want or need in a product these marketers now know by the use of this form of technology.
  3. Self-promotion is now the way of the past and seen as a turn off in the marketing world. When a consumer sees a company promoting themselves instead of looking to fulfill the basic needs and wants fulfilled in a product they may want to buy they immediately see distaste in this strategy. “The most successful and compelling brands are the ones that listen as much as — if not more than — they talk.” The consumer has a need to be heard. This way of thinking has shifted marketers and made them focus more on the question of,”What do the consumers need?”, rather than,”What does our company need?”

As the marketing world has continued to shift, due to the use of social media, one trend has appeared that, until the age of the internet, seemed unimaginable.”Now it has become a predictably efficient routine to sell information products by permitting potential consumers to sample a virtual smorgasbord of free digital content. Publishers and content marketers literally give away their stores with the confidence that eventually, a number of these users will convert to paying customers for premium content and experiences. That’s where the profits are made.” Instead of an author selling their books up-front, giving sneak previews of the text has become a trend among writers today. This marketing strategy is done with a hope that maybe one day this will lead to the reader actually purchasing the whole book, not just bumming off the free dozen or so pages that are easily accessible on the internet. This strategy may make some uneasy, but it does lead to successes. Giving the audience just enough of the story peaks their interest and makes them want more.

Not all of the shifts in marketing strategies cause problems for the advertisers. In fact, publishers have a big advantage in these shifts if they focus on one specific element to the equation. New York Times editor Neil Chase stated that,”“The publishers have a distinct advantage that nobody else can quite match: audience.” Marketing is not primarily about making money. It is about forming a relationship with your consumers so that you will have repeat customers. Lucia Moses of Digiday agrees stating that “the best examples seem to come from the publishers that are fully committed and are putting a lot of [human] resources behind it.” It is easy for a company to think about what it will gain from book sales, but trying to form a personal relationship with your consumer is an advantage that will only help you form a bigger customer base if done in the right way. This strategy is the same for any publisher, weather they are self published, independent, or part of the big five. If the marketers remember who their audience is that the writers are writing for they will have a better chance at success, but if they begin to become greedy and selfish the consumers may see that they are not genuine in their actions. This will cause the potential to lose a return customer. Shifts will happen in the world of marketing, but if the publishers and marketers remember who their audience is they will be able to keep up with the changing trends that make the marketing world go round.

Questions:

  1. How do you think companies today try to focus on their audience in an attempt to form a relationship with their consumers?
  2. What would you say is the biggest factor today in the shifts of marketing strategies for publishers?
  3. How do you think that social media trends have affected book sales?
  4. How do companies advertise their books today to draw the consumer in, as opposed to ten years ago?

 

Sources: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/book-marketing-changes-gears-amid-social-media-shifts/

http://www.evergage.com/blog/marketings-3-biggest-paradigm-shifts-deep-dive/

http://www.mequoda.com/articles/multiplatform-publishing-strategy/content-marketing-strategy-for-publishers/

https://contently.com/strategist/2015/07/29/agencies-vs-publishers-vs-tech-who-owns-the-future-of-content-marketing/

 

 

How and Where Books are Sold

How?

  • Before a bookstore decides to sell a book, the publisher gives the bookstore a catalog with that certain seasons new books and a copy of what is on their back list catalog.
  • A sales representative that is either hired by the publisher or an independent sales group whose only association with the publisher is that they are helping sell their titles, they relay book orders and inform the publishers if any book stores need more shipment.
  • There are also book distributors that acts as a marketer, warehouse, and shipping department. They are the ones that sell books to libraries, wholesalers, and bookstore. They take most of the weight off of the publishers in selling the actual books.
  • Wholesalers stock large varieties of titles from many publishers making it an “every once in awhile” kind of place for a bookstore or library to buy their books from.

Where?

  • There are many ways and places books are sold, here are some of the most popular bookstores within the United States:
      • Amazon Books
      • Barnes & Noble
      • Bookmans
      • Books-A-Million
      • Books, Inc.
      • Family Christian Stores
      • Follett’s
      • Half Price Books
      • Hudson News, chiefly located at airports and train stations
      • LifeWay Christian Resources
  • Many independent bookstores around the country are also successful in reaching their readers.
  • Books are not only limited to just physical bookstores thanks to the digital age. Online bookstores have made it super accessible for people to buy more books at a faster rate and cheaper cost. Here are some:
    • Amazon.com
    • Alibris.com
    • ValoreBooks.com
    • Barnesandnoble.com
    • AbeBooks.com

 

SOURCES:

http://www.toptenreviews.com/services/home/best-online-bookstores/

https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=List%20of%20bookstore%20chains&item_type=topic

http://www.netread.com/howto/publisher/index.cfm?article=how_books_are_sold.cfm

 

Publishing and Technology

In a lot of ways, technology is creating a shift in how the publishing industry operates. Less than 20 years ago, if you wanted to read a book, you had to buy a print book, and if you did, the book was probably part of a print run of 1,500 to 5,000 copies, or even more. But in that short span of time, new types of technology have made it easier for publishers (and in some cases, self-publishers) to produce a product that people will enjoy and want to read. This post will talk about a few of those.

Publishing With the Internet

This one is pretty much common sense. With the advent of the World Wide Web, publishers don’t have to spend a lot of funds to get work to their reader. This is very useful for two reasons. The first is that work can now be electronically published, whether it be on a blog or another kind of website, which inevitably helps them reach to readers and potential buyers. The other thing that the internet has done is that now, publishers are able to market the work they publish online, whether it be with a blog (like stated before), or with Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/jun/30/publishers-internet-changing-role

The Advent of the eReader

As everyone knows, the industry changed a few years ago when Amazon released the Kindle (and other companies released products a lot like it). This invention has made a lot of difference in both publishing and self-publishing alike. This is because, while a publisher must pay to have a book or publication edited, typeset, and marketed, there is zero investment once the publication is released to the public. No paper is required to print an ebook, meaning that the publisher doesn’t pay as much to produce a product. Also, ebooks show up on an ereader within minutes of being purchased. Compare that to having to hop in the car to the local bookstore.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/feb/27/ebooks-giant-disruption-publishing

Print on Demand

This one isn’t as digital, but it’s still an advancement that publishing has achieved in the last few years. As it’s name suggests, print on demand is when a book is ordered and then the ordered book is printed after the fact. There are no print runs, so the publisher doesn’t lose money if X amount of copies of the book don’t sell. The printer produces no more copies than what they need.

Source: http://www.ingramcontent.com/blog/why-use-print-on-demand

A Few Basic Questions

  1. How do you feel the technologies discussed effects the publisher’s bottom line?
  2. Do you feel the internet has made it easier for you to access the books you would like to read?
  3. Do you think the ebooks have made reading cheaper for potential buyers?
  4. Do you see social networking as a key platform that a publisher can use to market books?

The Uncertain Future of E-Books

e-booksWhen one searches the word “e-books” on Publishers Weekly, the results are not very encouraging. Even though we live in the so-called Digital Age, e-books are not exactly taking off. In fact, people are so overwhelmed by the multiple technological devices in their lives, they are eager to read an old-fashioned physical book rather than another screen.

When e-books and e-readers first came out–the Kindle was released in 2007 and the Nook in 2009–they were an exciting, new way to read. Technology was overtaking music and video, so books seemed like the natural next step in the progression. However, there is a big difference in books, music, and video. As the digital music and video industries thrive, a 2016 Nielson study reports e-book sales dropped 16% in 2016 from 2015.

After performing a 2016 study on e-books, Codex Group president Peter Hildick-Smith believes digital sales of books differ from music and video because of two factors. The first factor is that “electronic devices are optional for reading books,” meaning they are not the only form available. Regular books are still around, and their reading quality is much higher than e-books, which “have yet to [deliver] the quality long-form reading experience to supplant print.” Secondly, “digital fatigue” is spreading like an epidemic.

These days, people are attempting to cut as much screen time as possible. According to the Codex Group survey, book buyers spent five hours daily on screens. Approximately 25% of book buyers want to spend less time on digital devices, so these people turn to physical formats.

The Nielson study offers two more reasons why e-books sales are diminishing. The study found that many e-books are overpriced at about $8 per book. It is definitely hard to justify a nearly $10 purchase on a book that will never physically be held. The study also points out that people now use tablets and smart phones much more often than dedicated e-readers. Usage of multi-functioning devices affects reading because there is so much more to do on an iPad or iPhone than read; the devices feature games, videos, music, and general Internet access. Smart phones and tablets have more to offer consumers than plain old e-readers, but their many features distract from actual reading on the devices.

By April 2013, tablets overtook e-readers as the most popular devices to use for reading. The survey by BISG’s Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading found that 44% of e-book readers prefer reading on a tablet, while 42% prefer a dedicated e-reader. This is bad news for e-books, as the Codex survey notes that “[c]onsumers who use dedicated e-book readers have consistently been found to purchase more e-books than consumers who use other devices to read.” More tablets correlate to more gaming, social media, and video-watching–and less e-book purchasing. However, the decline in e-books does not mean people have stopped reading.

The Codex survey found that 59% of readers distancing themselves from e-books are doing so to return to print copies. People are still reading. In fact, millennials appear to be reading the most, with 18-24 year olds purchasing 83% of print books (Codex). These young people, whose lives revolve around technology, want to take a break from screens to enjoy the format that taught them to read. However, children provide a beacon of hope for the e-book industry.

While e-books are so unsuccessful that expensive hardbacks overtook their sales in 2016 (Nielsen), they still stand a chance. E-books’ problem could be that their audience is not yet old enough to realize their need for e-books. Children born beginning in the late 2000s have grown up swiping through their parents’ iPhones. Technology is second-nature to these children. Therefore, e-books have the potential to thrive when this audience grows old enough to purchase e-books and e-readers.

Some children are already obsessed with e-books. The children’s e-book subscription service, Epic, provides easy access to 14,000 titles through the web, iOS, Android devices, and Apple TV for only $4.99 per month. Since its January 2014 debut, over 40 million books have been read on the site–it is implied that the majority of these readers are children. If this generation has already read 40 million e-books in roughly three years, they will read more. E-books have a lot to offer children, more so than adults and young adults who grew up reading physical books.

Epic is used in more than 70% of U.S. elementary schools, so children are being exposed to e-books early on in life. After being surrounded by technology since birth, these children accept e-books as a natural way to read. Aside from being comfortable with screens, e-books also provide personal benefits to children. For example, in a classroom setting, children can easily feel embarrassed or judged by their choice of book; with e-books (and the safety of Epic), nobody else has to know what a child is reading. They are free to choose what they want to read, and they can read it from the privacy of their devices.

The future might not look bright for e-books, but their time to shine could be near. The next few years will be crucial in determining whether or not the format will prevail. For millenials and up, print books will never die. However, children who utilize services like Epic are already reaping the benefits of e-books. For them, there might be no turning back. For better or for worse, e-books have the potential to replace print copies; only time will tell.

 

Sources:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/72563-the-bad-news-about-e-books.html

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/70696-as-e-book-sales-decline-digital-fatigue-grows.html

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/devices/article/56727-tablets-overtake-dedicated-e-readers-as-most-popular-devices.html

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/70426-epic-success-in-kids-e-book-subscription.html

 

Reading/ Readership

Who is reading?

Facts:

  • Nearly half of all Americans ages 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure.
  • Although reading tracks closely with education level, the percentage of college graduates who read literature has declined.

  • 65% of college freshmen read for pleasure for less than an hour per week or not at all.

  • The percentage of non-readers among these students has nearly doubled—climbing 18 points since they graduated from high school.

More Facts here: https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/ToRead.pdf

What are readers reading?

People read a variety of things everyday. They can read in their free time, on break at work, public transportation, on the toilet and such. According to Digital Book World, in 2015, these ebooks were the most popular:

  1. The Girl on the Train
  2. The Longest Ride
  3. The Stranger
  4. Outlander
  5. NYPD Red 3
  6. The Nightingale
  7. All the Light We Cannot See
  8. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
  9. The Husband’s Secret
  10. Cone Girl
  11. The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
  12. Allegiant
  13. The Silent Girls
  14. Insurgent
  15. Memory Man
  16. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
  17. A Spool of Blue Thread
  18. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
  19. Silent Scream
  20. Divergent
  21. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  22. The Liar
  23. The Shadows: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
  24. Dragonfly in Amber
  25. All I Ever Need Is You

Most of the books on this (outdated) list are fiction. There are many books on here everyone has probably heard of.

How readers read

Digital Book World also said: “Among consumers’ favorite ways to get books for personal reading, 18 percent prefer to read for free, 26 percent claim that they never pay full price (for example, they purchase used books), 16 percent claim to prefer to purchase ebooks only, 18 percent declare that they “save when they can,” and 22 percent are impulse buyers, purchasing books they like as soon as they see them.”

Mobile Reading

Digital Book World said: “Today’s professional—and her office environment—are ever-evolving, and so are the ways that she consumes information. Her need to diversify and increase professional development skills on the go makes the need for on-demand, easy access to resources a necessity. This is but one reason why publishers should place emphasis and importance on engaging business and corporate professionals through mobile learning. Mobile learning is projected to be a $38 billion industry by 2020.”

Making texts more accessible from a mobile device increases the amount of readers. Since a mobile device, phones, tablets, laptops and such, are commonly used, it makes sense to make texts available for these devices.  The more text that are available on mobile devices, the more people publishers/ companies can reach out to. “The digitization of the reading experience is changing this limitation, however, and opening up a new frontier that publishers are starting to use to their advantage.” Some people like to read anything they can get their hands on. We as people can be lazy. Some would rather buy a book on their phone instead of going to a book store.

Politics

Publishers weekly said: “The gain for the full year came despite the lack of many big hits (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was last year’s top print seller) and distractions caused by the presidential election. Indeed, bookstore sales were up 6.1% in the first half of 2016 but softened as the year, and the election, wore on. A hoped-for post-election sales bounce did not materialize. Bookstore sales in December were down 3.1% compared to a year ago.” They said that politics was a “distraction,” to the sales of “big hits.” (In politics defense, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child didn’t flop because of politics, it flopped because people didn’t like it.) When it came to politics, many were able to access the latest tragedies (political events, debates) on their mobile devices.

RID

The Readers Insight Data is a concept developed by Anders Breinholst. “Reader Insights Data” (RID) will provide information on exactly who the target audience is, reducing the risk of buying international rights to books that are not a perfect fit for the publisher.” This would decrease the amount of money spent on rubbish the publisher doesn’t need. It would increase money for texts people will read.

I apologize for the quality of this post. It sucks.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What effects the way you read?
  2. Do you prefer a phone, kindle, laptop etc?
  3. Do you believe that sales of print books will decrease as technology develops?

Sources:http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2017/progressive-publishing-content-on-demand/

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2016/big-data-coming-publishing-industry/

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/72837-bookstore-sales-rose-again-in-2016.html

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2017/impact-pricing-book-buying-behavior/

Publishing and the Digital Revolution (Digital v. Print)

 

8-3-im-image1-9471

I am actually a journalism major and a professional writing minor and the journalism professors ask us the question of whether or not we think printed resources will eventually be dead, many share different opinions on the subject. I don’t think they will, not during our lifetime at least.

Our attention span is so short now that it’s hard for some of us millenials to sit down and stay focused on a specific book or story. Technology is rapidly continuing to advance, which in the long run will continue to effect publishing every few years.

“Digital technology changed the game entirely.  At first, because the Web was primarily used for direct response marketing, only newspapers were affected. But with the arrival of more visually impactful tablets, magazines’ display advertising business has come under attack as well.  Profit margins, once in the mid-to-high 20’s, are now in the low teens” (Forbes).

“The greatest challenge for publishers today is to create new business models. Unfortunately, most haven’t even begun the process due to misplaced nostalgia for distribution revenue.  In that sense, paywalls represent the greatest threat to old-line publishers” (Forbes).

A lot of people think the biggest affect is technology along with the culture we currently live in. That’s probably true to an extent.Many publishers have excellent technology teams and successful new players like Bleacher Report and Huffington Post rarely have particularly sophisticated platforms” (Forbes).

“In previous years with print books, publishers played a valuable economic role because they converted typewritten manuscripts into printed books and got them into the hands of distributors and retailers. The digital world is different because “transforming a writer’s words into a readable e-book product can be done with a combination of software and a minimal amount of training” (optimity).

It’s kind of important in this day and age to understand how to publish with other publishers and also know how to self-publish. A lot of authors don’t realize they have the power to market their own books.

“It’s true that many traditional book publishers don’t do these things very well, particularly when it comes to producing and marketing eBooks in the new world of branding, social media, and in-person events. But, that just suggests that we are likely to see the rise of new, more agile, and more effective digital book publishers in the future, not the demise of the publishing function” (optimity).

itself.http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsatell/2014/10/05/how-old-school-publishers-can-win-in-the-digital-age/#28bfa2ee6a68

http://www.optimityadvisors.com/insights/blog/how-useless-are-book-publishers-digital-age

Diversity in the Publishing Industry

What is diversity?

Diversity can sometimes come across as a vague word pointing to race and/or gender. In reality, what makes diversity so complex and important is that it’s a blanket term for the many different categories of people and this is intersectional.

intersectionality-580x483

When I approached this topic, I wanted to make sure that I included not just race and gender, as important as those are, but also sexuality, and disability. When I found an article from Publishers Weekly, it included another link to an info-graphic from Lee and Lo Books which includes the aforementioned categories.  When talking about the lack of diversity in the publishing industry, its lack comes from many different angles. Of course, diversity also includes other equally important identifiers like religion, ethnicity, class, etc.

At the beginning of 2016, Lee and Low Books, dedicated to publishing multicultural children’s books, published their 2015 Diversity Baseline Survey. This survey was sent to 13, 237 publishing & review employees of 34 publishers and 8 review journals to measure diversity within the publishing industry itself.

Combining the statistics of the executive level, editorial departments, marketing/publicity departments, and book reviewers, the publishing industry was: 79% white, 78% female (cis-woman), 88% straight/heterosexual, and 92% nondisabled. 

Due to the lack of diversity in publishing, this is translated to what books are published and which audiences are prioritized. The book market suffers from a lack of inclusiveness.

Publishing companies, including the Big Five, have made efforts in improving diversity through internship programs and “diversity initiatives” but when it comes to diversity hiring—-this still remains a problem. Systematic racism and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc exists in the publishing world, just like many other industries.

wndbIn response, various authors and independent presses have made large strides in combating this problem. We Need Diverse Books, created in 2015 by authors, campaigns for diversity in children’s books. Indie presses like Lee and Lo Books, New Press, and Sibling Rivalry Press have taken large initiatives to hire diverse teams and publish books and subjects that would otherwise be ignored. Indie bookstores also have to opportunity to create spaces of diversity when large chain bookstores are not.

With that said, attacking this issue on a mainstream level is something that the publishing industry will have to address and now in the future. Which leads me to certain questions…

Resources:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/69653-why-publishing-is-so-white.html

http://blog.leeandlow.com/2016/01/26/where-is-the-diversity-in-publishing-the-2015-diversity-baseline-survey-results/

http://www.slj.com/2016/11/opinion/when-publishing-and-reviewing-diverse-books-is-expertise-overrated-opinion/

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/72644-wi12-roxane-gay-on-the-idea-of-diversity.html