About this sector
You can read information about role responsibilities, salary, working hours, what to expect, qualifications, skills, work experience, career prospects and related roles on the following Prospects Job Profiles:
You might also see other job profiles of interest in the Media and internet profiles page (which gives links to the 47 profiles in the sector).
How to gain experience/internships
Relevant experience is essential to demonstrate your skills and motivation for a career in publishing. Work experience in the sector constitutes anything from interning or volunteering at publishing houses, carrying out freelance work (submit your projects and articles to publications or manage your own blog), publishing articles for magazines or student newspapers, submitting entries to writing competitions, working in a bookshop to understand the retailers’ position in the market, involve yourself in book and literary festivals (such as the Edinburgh Book Festival) and author events to learn how they operate and to make contacts, do publicity for university societies, develop IT skills through CAPOD courses, etc.
Internships and work experience
Some of the larger companies run internships or work experience,eg
Other relevant resources:
- The Bookseller, BookBrunch and The Publishing Training Centre normally advertise available positions.
- The vacancy section of our website occasionally has details of vacation work opportunities in publishing, but external websites are more likely to advertise such vacancies.
- Consider making speculative applications to companies and think about any contacts that you might have.
- Don't underestimate the value of networking as it may be crucial to getting your foot in the door.
- If you are planning to enter book publishing you might also approach bookshops for weekend or vacation work, where you are likely to begin to gain an awareness of the market. Getting involved with a university or college newspaper/publication as a writer, editor or publicist will also provide good experience.
- Read the Guardian Careers blog 'Top tips for finding publishing placements'. The writer of this article has her own personal blog called 'Diary of a Publishing Intern', which has a lot of useful links/information on finding publishing internships.
How to get a (graduate) job
- Entry-level jobs are rarely advertised – you may have to persevere to identify an opening and be prepared to start at the bottom and work up.
- The Society of Young Publishers website has information on finding a job in publishing.
- The sector is very competitive to get into, and for this reason jobs can often be poorly paid but still draw large numbers of passionate graduate candidates.
- Don't underestimate the value of networking and making speculative applications. The Publishers Association’s list of publishers is good for speculative applications.
- Prospects – how to get into publishing https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/job-sectors/media-and-internet/how-to-get-into-publishing
A small number of publishers operate a formal graduate training scheme including
Other publishing vacancies
Here are a few publishing companies who do not run graduate schemes, but may have occasional vacancies in publishing:
Job vacancy websites
Many publishers use recruitment consultancies to fill both permanent and temporary roles. The ones that specialise in publishing are:
Applications, interviews and assessment centres
- Make sure to thoroughly research any company you apply to so that you can tailor your CV and cover letter to tie in with their values, ideals, their business strategy, and to prove that you meet the requirements outlined in their job specification.
- Target Jobs - Five things you need to know before your newspaper or magazine publishing interview
- The Nosy Crow's blog entry on 'How to apply for a job in publishing'
Relevant postgraduate study - is it a requirement?
Although a postgraduate qualification in publishing is not essential to be successful in the industry, it will strengthen your knowledge in the subject and prove to employers that you are serious about a long-term career. However, some employers will favour relevant work experience over further study.
Universities that offer Masters in publishing include:
- City, University of London
- Edinburgh Napier University
- Kingston University London
- Plymouth University
- University College London (UCL)
- University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
- University of Derby.
Search postgraduate courses in publishing
Key UK links and resources
Careers Centre resources
Use CareerConnect, your central careers hub, to:
- Book an appointment with a careers adviser
- Search for vacancies (Job Shop, internships/work experience, graduate jobs)
- Register for events
- The Careers Centre subscribes to GoinGlobal, a specialist website with information and job vacancies worldwide.
General publishing careers information
The USA job market and recruitment timetables, for both internships and graduate jobs, for sectors of employment often differ from the UK.
The Careers Centre subscribes to the reputable independent USA careers information and vacancy provider Vault. The link below will take you directly to Vault subscription resources which cover this sector. You may find further useful and relevant resources linked from there as well.
Internships in the US - Publishing
This list is by no means exhaustive. It is simply designed to serve as a starting point:
- HarperCollins Internships As a HarperCollins summer intern, you will gain a broad introduction into the world of book publishing while immersed in the daily activities of a specific group. Unpaid internships.
- Meredith Click "search for jobs, then select the option "temporary" under Employment Status to bring up all internship opportunities currently available.
- Penguin Random House Offers paid internship opportunities in various business areas such as contracts, editorial, finance, graphic design, managing editorial, marketing, online marketing, production, publicity, sales, subsidiary rights, and operations. The internship program consists of three 10-week long sessions. During the spring and fall, interns work 14 hours per week. During the summer, interns work 28 hours per week.
- Time Inc. Summer Internships Open to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Paid and unpaid opportunities. Variety of 9-10 week internships available.
- Wiley Offers a structured ten-week summer internship program for students typically between their junior and senior years of college who aspire to careers in the publishing industry.