So You Want to Break Into the Publishing Industry?

Good morning! Let's get a cup of coffee and welcome a Guest Blogger today whose topic is about breaking into the publishing industry. If you've wondered about the various opportunities in publishing, now's a good time to learn what's out there.

So You Want to Break Into the Publishing Industry?

This post was written by T. Hadley, who has also written about obtaining various accounting degrees online and is working towards becoming a forensic scientist.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the publishing industry can always expect to take a hit during times of economic downturn. Couple that with the rise of the internet and the subsequent demise of traditional print media and it's no wonder you always hear about newspapers folding and talking heads proclaiming the publishing industry dead. On the contrary, the industry far from dead, just changing, like so many other industries experiencing growing pains as they transition into a new, on-line, interactive world. Anybody may be able to have a blog but the public still turns to trusted sources for news and other material, and thankfully, books, business-to-business or "trade" publications, and textbooks still see the same if not better circulations as earlier in the decade. Here are 8 hot jobs in the publishing industry that ARE on the rise.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers are in high demand for not only the layout of the publications themselves but that of the publication's website, and are often required to do extensive work on both. Graphic designers must be familiar with InDesign and similar layout applications, and must be able to create an intuitive, immediately eye-catching, and engaging interface for online content. Jobseekers with web design and animation experience will have an edge over the competition.

Market and Survey Researcher

Market and survey researchers find out what the public wants by means of surveys, focus group discussions, etc. They figure out how best to reach readers and what content they want to view, an increasingly important aspect of the industry because with so many options available online and in print, it is essential to find the audience that will keep coming back for more. Market and survey researchers report their findings to....

Advertising Sales Agent

Advertising sales are what fuel newspapers, magazines, and their websites, and so advertising sales agents are absolutely necessary to find the revenue that will keep these publications alive. Agents analyze findings from the market research department and present them to potential clients in the hopes they will buy advertising space in their publication and/or website. Commissions often make up a large portion of an advertising sales agent's earnings, and so this can be a tough way to go, especially in less than ideal economic times.

Writers for Trade Publications

It is increasingly difficult for writers to find steady, paid work, especially as most publications downsize or hire out work on a freelance basis, but one often overlooked though less sexy sector of the publishing industry that is hiring workers is the business-to-business or trade publication. These smaller publications cover stories and topics specific to certain industries and so only appeal to a small but stable audience, one with fewer (if any) options to receive their news. Writers for these publications may write for various magazines at once and may also be required to handle other tasks as well, and so should have some experience in layout, photography, and/or graphic design to help their prospects.

Public Relations Specialist

No one will read a book if they do not know it exists, and so it is the public relations specialist's job to get the word out and create buzz about new material. PR specialists devise ad campaigns in other publications, radio and television ads, etc., set up author interviews and promotional tours, and utilize any medium possible to reach their target audience. Increasingly experience and expertise with social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is essential.

Textbook Writer

Textbook sales constitute almost half of the revenue generated by the publishing industry, and with more students (especially in higher education) than ever, the demand for new textbooks and revised editions of those already published does not look to diminish anytime soon. Generally professors or other experts in a certain field devise the content for a textbook, but oftentimes need help putting their thoughts to paper in a digestible, engaging way; this is where the jobs are, and so textbook writers should have knowledge of the field to translate highly technical talk into something that makes sense for a student.

Freelance Writer

More and more in today's business climate writers are being hired on a freelance basis. Publishing companies commission freelance writers to complete any kind of assignment, mostly short-term but also recurring columns, scripts, and books. Freelancer writers are self-employed and so have the freedom to handpick the assignments they undertake and also work on their own schedule. As a downside, jobs can be hard to find and so freelancing can be a tough way to make a living, particularly as an un-established or new writer. However, there are always jobs out there waiting to be found, and it is a good way to get published and create a portfolio to use when finding steadier work.


The area with by far the best job prospects, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is that of computer network, systems, and database administrators. With so many periodicals and other publications already online, and many books being converted to a digital format, it is absolutely essential to have a working, fluid, interactive, intuitive, and cutting edge website. Webmasters turn publishers and writers' ideas into online reality, and must be up-to-date on current technologies and innovations for implementation.


  1. A nice reminder and informative read Joan, and I enjoyed catching up on some of your other interesting posts.

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Jacqueline. Glad the post had some good info for you.

    Happy Weekend!