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Publishing: A world of Content Creation

By UCL Careers, on 20 March 2015

Emma House, Director of Publisher Relations at The Publisher’s Association tells us why Publishing is an important sector.

Book and Journal Publishing: one of the UK’s largest creative industries. It generates almost £5 billion for the UK economy; it brought us book-to-screen phenomena such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Paddington Bear. If you have ever considered a career in publishing, you would likely have been attracted to the glitz and glamour of trade publishing and working with famous authors – or the delights of working in children’s publishing. You would likely have considered bringing your skills in marketing, publicity and editing to a career in publishing. Yet this is only a small insight into an innovative, forward-thinking, global, and creative industry with a strong and exciting present – and future.

The UK’s publishing sector can be divided into 5 sectors: trade/consumer (fiction and non-fiction including children’s); education (school books); higher education textbook; English Language Teaching and dictionaries; and academic journals. All aspects of publishing have been and are going through considerable change. The internet, Amazon, government policy and changing consumer tastes and needs have all driven change in the way we consume content and publishing is building its own pathway through these changes.

Publishing will always require the traditional roles that it takes to run a business in this sector. A good eye for writing talent, strong editorial acumen, and knowledge of the various ways to take content, to curate and market it and finally deliver it to the consumer, are key skills that the industry values. The industry prides itself on having the very best these roles in order to add value to the author and the consumer. Non-traditional “publishing” process roles such as Legal, HR, Finance and IT are all essential to the industry and anyone studying these disciplines could do far worse than consider bringing their skills and qualifications to publishing.

What is little known however is the range of new roles and new skills that publishers now seek to bring to the industry. Over the last 5 years, digital has become fully embedded in publishing and we are now seeing a need for people with strong skills in data analytics, digital marketing, digital production and design. Consumer insight teams have grown, as have departments looking to transform book IP into other multimedia. The industry has never been more international and “sales” roles encapsulate the need for export sales, translation rights sales and skills in building global partnerships. The academic book and journal industry is crying out for scientists, researchers and engineers to bring their knowledge and talent to the industry and the education publishing industry values those with a strong background in the education sector – especially teachers. Entrepreneurism, imagination and a passion for content are attributes which are attractive to employers and a demonstration of innovation and flair long way.

So if you thought you knew publishing, or thought it was only for English literature graduates…….think again! Our industry needs YOU.

Hear more from the Publishers Association in a free webinar available to all University of London students on Wednesday 25th March, 1-2pm.  Register here.

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