Book and Magazine Publishers - Job Description, Everyday Work Life and Educational Requirements

  • Added:
    Jan 27, 2014
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Book and Magazine Publishers - Job Description, Everyday Work Life and Educational Requirements Photo by Pamela Wendell

Book or magazine publishing is not limited to just bringing news, stories, content or information through various means for readers' consumption. In fact, the role spans to writing for production, editing, content management, designing for publishing, and handling copyrights, contracts and permissions.

Book or magazine publishers may take on a variety of roles, depending upon their employment, type of media they work in and their individual qualification, skills and experience. They may act like subject matter experts, content management and production managers, copy editors, journal editors or eBook publishers. They may be employed in various areas including writing, editing, designing, management, publishing, liaising, acquisition, sales and marketing or copywriting.

Magazine and book publishers can find employment with

  • eBook publishing companies
  • Academic book publishers
  • Newspaper companies
  • News channels
  • Entertainment or sports books publishers
  • Business magazine publishers
  • Online content publishers
  • Any company that publishes its own magazine or produces online content

Job Description of Book and Magazine Publishers

Regardless of the media (print or electronic) they work with, book and magazine publishers have to perform some basic tasks, which include:

  • Networking with writers, sponsors, promoters and advertisers
  • Reviewing the specific projects and identifying the factors that may promote or hinder their success
  • Understanding readers' requirements in a particular geographical location or basis their professions, age and gender
  • Planning how to go about the entire project
  • Identifying the scope of a particular project
  • Reviewing the manuscripts from the writers
  • Editing the write-ups, documents or books submitted by the writers
  • Meeting the production deadlines
  • Working on sales and marketing strategies
  • Liaising with advertisers and promoters
  • Handling contracts with writers
  • Maintaining professional relationships with everyone involved directly or indirectly in the project

The exact responsibilities may vary depending upon the job role they assume.

Everyday Work Life

The everyday work-life of book or magazine publishers may be very hectic, as they have to oversee every aspect of a project from its conception to bringing it to the market. They need to be energetic and motivated and must have an eye for detail. They are expected to

  • Act as mentors to their subordinates
  • Possess extraordinary interpersonal and networking skills to maintain relationships with sponsors and advertisers
  • Think critically as to ensure that each project is a success
  • Resolve problems whenever they arise to ensure that it meets production deadlines
  • Attend meetings with sponsors and promoters
  • Ensure that the production process goes smoothly and as planned
  • Discuss and negotiate payments and royalties with writers

The book publishers may be required to oversee anything and everything related to production and publishing of content. However, in big publishing houses, they may be required to work in teams with exact roles and responsibilities.

Educational Requirements

The professionals interested in making a career in magazine and book publishing should have a thorough understanding in and practical hands-on-experience on commercial publishing operations. They should also be well-versed in all facets of the publishing process for eBooks.

Centennial College's postgraduate certificate program in Publishing - Book, Magazine and Electronic is one of the most prestigious programs in Canada that prepare you for a wide variety of positions in publishing industry. It combines classroom learning, publishing assignments and an industry field placement at a magazine or book publisher.

To apply for this program, you will need to:

  • Submit college diploma or university degree in any discipline
  • Complete an editing exercise
  • Submit a portfolio of writing
  • Submit a resume
  • Relevant work experience (for applicants with partial post-secondary education)

Author's Profile

The author here highlights the book publishing program offered by Centennial College. He further elaborates how the course offers an insight in this industry.


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