Broadly speaking, publishing is the way in which literature, music and other information is distributed to the general public. Traditionally, publishing was considered the dissemination of printed media such as books and magazines. However, as technology has expanded and the internet has become part of everyday life, publishing has also grown to include electronic resources such as websites and e-books. As a result, it is possible to enter into a range of fields of publishing including books, video games, software and periodicals. Additionally, within the publishing sector there are different stages of the process in which you can get involved, such as creation, distribution or production. The publishing industry contains a range of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and also more famous large companies. For example, the Pearson Group dominates the field of international print publishing and is home to The Financial Times, The Economist and Penguin amongst others.
A career in publishing can be popular for the opportunities it provides to be creative and develop new ideas. Journalists and publishers can influence opinions of the general public and the way in which political and social issues are interpreted. Key skills for working in publishing include strong language and communication, competent computer abilities and commercial awareness. As with any industry, experience is important, so look for opportunities with newspapers or other publications and exposure to a publishing house, as well as getting involved with one of Durham’s student run newspapers. Many companies do not offer graduate programmes but rather just hire for individual jobs. When first starting to work, look for ‘assistant’ positions such as editorial assistant, marketing assistant, publishing assistant, etc. The larger companies do, however, run work experience schemes and internships, which provide that crucial advantage to job applications, and HarperCollins is a notable exception in providing a graduate programme too. See below for links to more information.