Tips for Working in the Publishing Industry

Working in a publishing house is a laborious and streamlined process. A whole team of professionals, such as editors, designers, marketers, publishers, writers, and so on, work every day to ensure that you end up with a newspaper, magazine, brochure, or book. But is it easy to build a career in the publishing field?

In this article, you will learn how to start a career in publishing with or without experience, useful employment advice, and which professions are the most popular in the publishing industry.

How to Get into Publishing

Large publishers have several departments dealing with marketing, human resources, computer issues, finance, inventory, legal issues, etc. To get hired at a publishing company, you need to have specific skills and knowledge, says

1. Decide on a Career Direction

Before applying for an open position, assess your capabilities, knowledge, and skills. Choose the job that suits you best. You must have an interest and professional skills in this area. For example, you know several foreign languages, you can start translating books or scientific manuals. If you love critiquing books, you can become a literary critic, says Wikihow. To work as an editor, you need to know the language well and communicate with people. If you can draw or have specialized education in graphic design, you can design illustrations for books and be responsible for the cover. And if you are into sales, you can get a job at your favorite publisher’s bookstore.

2. Search for Information About the Career You Want to Apply for 

When you have decided on the position, review the requirements for it. You may need to take additional courses to improve your qualifications.

If you have friends who work in the publishing industry, ask what they do and their company’s vacancies. Read the job advertisements in your local newspaper or on the Internet.

3. Select the Type of Publisher House

There are different types of publishing houses: small, private, large, state, etc. Some publish historical magazines and books, others – detective stories, comedies, and novels, and still others – periodicals and magazines. Many publishers print textbooks for universities, colleges, and schools. Think about which field you are most interested in and choose the appropriate place of work.

There are few vacancies in small private publishing houses. Sometimes there is one person in each department who takes over all the responsibilities. There are more jobs in a large publishing house, but the requirements are higher there too. Experienced specialists are often required.

4. Create a Resume and Cover Letter for Getting a Job in the Publishing

Create a professional resume and attach a cover letter to it. Since you are applying for a job in a publishing house, mistakes in the text are not allowed. Especially if you want to become an editor.

Your resume should include your previous work experience, professional and interpersonal skills, personal contacts, education, and a link to your portfolio if needed. If applying for an illustrator or graphic designer position, you can use an online editor that offers various resume templates. This will immediately grab the recruiter’s attention and will show you as a creative personality.

The cover letter gives the HR manager a quick introduction to who you are and why you are applying for this job. The information should not duplicate your resume. Provide concrete examples that prove you are an ideal candidate and tell how your skills will contribute to the company’s development. You can look at the example of a cover letter for a technical writer to have a general understanding of the content and form of the document.

The hiring manager does not always require that you send a cover letter. But by submitting it, you will certainly show your high interest in working for a publishing company.

A letter of recommendation can be sent along with the other job application documents. If you are an entry-level specialist, it will significantly increase your chances of getting a job.

A recommendation letter can be written by your previous boss or a colleague who can vouch for you and has the same specialization as you. If applying for the editor’s position, you should not ask the cleaner to write a recommendation, even if they are a good person. A recommended letter can also be written by a worker from the company where you want to get a job.

How to Get into Publishing Without Experience

If you are thinking of how to get a job in publishing without work experience, then we suggest paying attention to the following employment tips.


If you are a student or graduate, then you have an excellent opportunity to take a paid internship at one of the publishers during the holidays. The internship allows you to see the workflow and understand if you really want to work in this field.

Try to make the most of your time working with the team, offer your help, and ask questions about the work process.

Many companies publish an internship announcement on their official website or social media such as Twitter or LinkedIn.

Start a blog

Blogging is a form of expression and is ample direct proof of your ability. If you are an entry-level critic, you can publish articles with reviews of books or scientific articles on your blog. If you position yourself as a writer, you can post your works or talk about the publishing industry’s events.

There is a high probability that you will be noticed by the publisher even before you start sending your resume to companies.


Working as a volunteer, you can make many useful contacts. For example, get acquainted with the HR manager of a publishing house. If you show yourself well and easily cope with the tasks, the company may invite you for a permanent job or hire you as an assistant depending on your level of experience.

Preparing for an interview

It is always more difficult for a novice specialist to pass an interview since they do not have the proper experience. Therefore, before the interview, you should look ahead to the questions that may await you. For example, if you are applying for a role as a writer, then you may be asked:

  • What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
  • Do you travel to research for writing?
  • Do you meticulously outline characters or follow your character’s lead?
  • Do you have to get “into character” to write your protagonist?

Take advanced training courses

Obtaining additional certifications always adds points in employment. After completing the courses, you receive a certificate and the most relevant knowledge, making you a more valuable employee.

A considerable number of courses are now available on the Internet, both paid and free. The fastest way to find the one you want is to visit the Coursera website. Some of the most popular for editors and publishers include:

  • Good with words: writing and editing
  • Graphic design
  • Writing and editing: structure and organization
  • Publishing visualizations in r with shiny and flex dashboard

Top Careers in the Publishing

Publishing companies evolve with technology. Now they are engaged in the publication of books, magazines, brochures, both in print and electronic. Below is a list of professions that are currently in particular demand in the labor market.

  1. Fact Checker;
  2. Art Director;
  3. Magazine Editor;
  4. Copy Editor;
  5. Photo Editor;
  6. Regulatory Publishing Consultant;
  7. Advertiser;
  8. Assessment Writer;
  9. Marketer;
  10.  Writer.

Final Words

Working in a publishing house is exciting and rewarding. And getting a job in one of these companies will not be difficult, but it can take time to find a position that suits you.

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