Whether we are flipping pages of a newspaper or reading a glossy fashion magazine, it is someone’s hard work that is coming to the fore: the Publisher (of course other than the author/ creator of the content). Yes dear friends, for those who have been fond of reading books, magazines, newspapers, etc, this is a profession where one can get to work on any of these right from inception of the content to the final layout. The Publishing industry is quite a diverse, dynamic and exciting place to work in, more so for the changes and development that have been happening here across the world and in India. The boom in technology and the increased dynamism in marketing and promotions have only made the profession more enticing. From editing to distribution, the opportunities are ever increasing.
India is one of the leading countries in world publishing, being the third largest producer of books in English language after USA and UK. The Indian publishing market stands at a whopping Rs 20,000 crore. It consists of books, magazines, and newspapers. Our book publishing industry alone is around 8 billion Rs and growing at more than 15% annually. A lot of publishing work, especially in English language, is being outsourced to us. On an estimate, there are 384 publishers in India. So, a career in publishing may be a great idea.
Jobs in Publishing
A publisher is required to supervise every stage in the process of publication. A publisher job is to choose and commission manuscripts besides preparing the manuscripts for printing, designing the final look of books, and of course monitor their printing, binding and finally marketing. The publishing process can be segregated into editorial, designing, production, advertising, publicity and marketing tasks. Thus this career is a combination of creativity and technology. The following are the various job profiles under the mentioned departments/ areas are:
- Media, Print, Publishing:
- Copy Editor
- Commissioning Editor
- Publishing Editor
- Art Editor
- Technical author
- Web Content Manager
- Sales & Marketing:
- Event Manager
- Market Research Executive
- Marketing Executive
- Public Relations
- Sales Manager
- Sales Representative
- Advertising Experts
- Graphic Designer
Not all organizations have all these roles laid out exactly as mentioned. Many times, the roles are a combination of 2 or more under one particular category.
Scope & Remuneration
An individual can get a job in private publishing firms, publication departments of educational & charitable organizations, and publication divisions of govt. agencies (eg: the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and of Education and Culture have their own publication divisions). People with enterprising skills can set up their own publishing venture, especially if they wish to cater to a particular market or a niche clientele or for creative independence. One could also work in publishing houses of organizations that are subsidized or run by public trust funds are the National Book Trust, NCERT and the Children's Book Trust. In case of printing, a professional, with the appropriate qualifications and training may find openings in a government press, commercial press, newspaper offices or universities with their own presses. With many international publishing firms making foray into the Indian market, there are a lot of employment opportunities in this field both in India (local and outsourced from foreign firms) and abroad.
As far as payments are concerned, the initial pay packages are not quite lucrative and may be anywhere between 20-25000 pm. Big domestic and international firms pay more than this at entry level. People with literary and creative bent get to work with celebrated authors, journalists, writers and media people and thereby enhance their skills and can eventually make big money.
Required Skill set
- Good knowledge of English: a candidate should understand the nuances of the language
- Reading and writing: a candidate should have a genuine fondness for reading and interest in books right from their content to how they finally look like.
- Good editing skills to be able to add value to a manuscript and keep the content informative and interesting.
- For those wish to enter management, sales, marketing, production, etc, would require post-graduate degrees in the respective fields.
To begin with, candidates are expected to have a graduate degree (generally arts/humanities)as a minimum qualifying requirement, but a post-graduate degree or diploma in a specialised area of publishing(eg: art, political science, mathematics, medical science etc) is definitely beneficial. Proficiency in English (or regional language if one is working in regional sector) along with good editing skills is a must. While on-the-job learning is intrinsic to this profession, internships with publishing houses or newspaper publications is quite advantageous. This can be done after 12th or graduation depending upon the standards/criteria set by a particular organization.
Some of the renowned institutes that provide courses in Publishing and Printing are:
- Institute of Book Publishing, New Delhi: is a pioneering institute in the field of publishing that caters to the growing need for professionally qualified people in this industry. The short term courses offered by the institute are: in Electronic Publishing, Book Editing & Designing, Book Publishing, E-publishing.
- National Book Trust, New Delhi: is a professional institute working in the field of quality publication for the last 50 years or so. The NBT provides a wide variety of books for all age groups on all subjects keeping in view the needs of its readers and demands of a fluctuating market. Some of these include: Biographies, Autobiographies, Creative Learning series, World Literature series, Braille books, etc.
- Centre for Studies in book Publishing, University of Calcutta, Kolkata: This Institute focuses on the study of book publishing in India. Set up in 2007, CSBP functions under the Faculty Council for Postgraduate Studies in Education, Journalism and Library Science. The University itself has been one of the leading publishers for over a century. CSBP provides short-term training courses of weekly durations on various aspects of today's publishing for emerging and intermediate professionals in the field. The programmes include: editorial techniques / copyrights/ rights management/book production and design / warehousing and inventory/ book promotion and publicity/ book distribution/ book design/ sales and marketing/ electronic publishing/ translation techniques etc.
- Govt. Institute of Printing Technology Secunderabad: This institute affiliated to the Osmania University, offers Diploma courses in Pre-press operation, Press work, and Print, Finishing & Packing.