Is becoming a publisher right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do publishers do?

Still unsure if becoming a publisher is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a publisher or another similar career!

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How to become a Publisher

Becoming a publisher involves a combination of education, relevant experience, and a passion for the publishing industry. Here is a guide on how to pursue a career as a publisher:

  • Educational Background: While there is no specific degree required to become a publisher, many successful professionals in the field have degrees in English, creative writing, journalism, communications, or related fields. A solid educational foundation can provide valuable writing, communication, and critical thinking skills.
  • Gain Relevant Experience: Begin building your expertise by working in entry-level positions within the publishing industry. This could include roles such as editorial assistant, copyeditor, or in sales and marketing for a publishing house.
  • Develop Writing and Editing Skills: Strong writing and editing skills are vital for a career in publishing. Take advantage of opportunities to develop and showcase your abilities through internships, freelance work, or contributions to relevant publications.
  • Pursue Advanced Education (Optional): While not mandatory, obtaining a Master's Degree in Publishing, Business, or a related field can enhance your qualifications and provide a deeper understanding of the industry.
  • Network within the Industry: Network with authors, literary agents, editors, and other professionals in the publishing industry. Attend industry events, join online forums, and engage in networking opportunities to establish valuable relationships.
  • Consider Specialization: Determine whether you want to specialize in a particular genre, format (print, digital), or market segment. Specializing can help you carve out a unique position in the industry.
  • Gain Leadership Experience: As you gain experience, aim for roles with increasing responsibility, such as managing editor or editorial director. These positions involve overseeing teams, making strategic decisions, and contributing to the overall direction of a publishing imprint.
  • Consider Entrepreneurship: If you aspire to run your own publishing venture, consider entrepreneurial paths. This may involve starting a small press, launching a digital publishing platform, or becoming a self-publisher.
  • Stay Adaptable and Innovative: The publishing industry is evolving, with advancements in technology and shifts in consumer behavior. Stay adaptable, embrace new technologies, and be open to innovative approaches in content creation and distribution.

Helpful Resources
For individuals pursuing a career in publishing, there are various resources available to stay informed, build skills, and connect with the industry. Here are some helpful resources:

  • Association of American Publishers (AAP): The AAP is a trade organization representing the U.S. book publishing industry. Their website offers news, reports, and resources related to the publishing business.
  • Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA): IBPA is an organization supporting independent publishers. They provide resources, education, and networking opportunities for individuals involved in independent publishing.
  • Book Industry Study Group (BISG): BISG focuses on facilitating innovation and best practices in the book industry. They offer publications, events, and research to keep professionals updated on industry trends.
  • Publishers Weekly: Publishers Weekly is a well-known trade publication covering the latest news and trends in the publishing industry. It provides reviews, bestseller lists, and industry insights.
  • The Independent: The Independent is a resource for independent publishers, offering articles, resources, and information on book publishing and marketing.
  • Book Business Magazine: Book Business Magazine focuses on the business side of book publishing. It covers industry trends, strategies, and insights for publishing professionals.
  • LinkedIn Groups: Joining relevant LinkedIn groups, such as "Book Publishing Professionals," can provide networking opportunities and discussions with individuals in the publishing industry.
  • The Creative Penn: The Creative Penn, run by author Joanna Penn, offers resources and podcasts on writing, self-publishing, and the business of being an author.
  • Digital Book World (DBW): DBW is a platform that covers digital publishing trends and offers conferences, webinars, and resources for professionals in the publishing industry.
  • Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP): SSP is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and events for professionals in scholarly publishing.
  • Edelweiss+ (NetGalley): Edelweiss+ offers tools for book professionals, including publishers, booksellers, and librarians. NetGalley, a part of Edelweiss+, is a platform for book discovery and promotion.