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Finding and applying for jobs

Advice on finding a job

The key is finding out as much as possible about what the jobs involve. Get a hold of the book trade’s magazine, The Bookseller, which features job advertisements; read publishing blogs; follow publishers on Twitter.

If there is a particular publisher (or organisation with a publishing arm) you are interested in, check its website and follow it on Twitter for job news. You will also get to know the publisher a bit better before you apply if a job comes up.

Sometimes publishers, particularly if they’re of a small or medium size, may not advertise at all, preferring to fill their vacancies by word-of-mouth, or from interns or previous applicants.

We publicise our members’ vacancies on our website, in our industry newsletter and by Twitter. Some publishers also advertise in The Bookseller and The Guardian and you can sign up for their job alerts.

The Bookcareers website is full of useful information. Members of the Society of Young Publishers can access its jobs board.

Applying for a job

Whether you are applying for an internship or a vacancy, or sending a speculative application, it is essential to tailor your covering letter and CV to the publisher you are applying to.

Research the publisher’s website and social media and have a look at their books in a bookshop or library if you can.

You will be facing a lot of competition for any position so present your application well and ensure it is error-free.

What are you likely to earn?

Nobody works in publishing purely for the money. But you will be rewarded with an interesting and satisfying career in a creative industry with lots of congenial people. Salaries in independent publishers can start around £20,000 per year. Professional publishers (eg law, medicine and science) generally pay more as do the publishing arms of institutions and corporations. Salaries in London are higher than in Scotland and can rise to six figures for directors in the largest publishers. 

You can read the headline results of the most recent salary survey (2021) on the website.