With each passing year the publishing industry in India is scaling new heights.
The boom in technology over the last decade was viewed as the onset of doom for books and reading habits by many. However, if the growth of the publishing industry is anything to go by this prediction has certainly been wrong.
Publishing schedules are going on, as of now. The Indian publishing market with all its literature – books, magazines, newspapers etc., stands at a whopping Rs 20,000 crore.
On an approximate estimate around 70,000 titles are published in India on general subjects. Of this 30 per cent are in English and the remaining in regional languages. There are around 384 publishers in India. So a career in publishing may be a great idea.
Must have Merit:
The foremost quality that we look for is familiarity with books and writing in general. It’s not necessary to have a background in publishing but sensitivity to the nuances of language and a genuine fondness for literature (of any kind, whether fiction or non-fiction, popular or literary) is pretty much a pre-requisite. These are the must haves for anyone wanting to join the editorial departments. In most other departments of a publishing firm – sales, marketing, design, production customer services – it really helps if you like books and are interested in the process through which a book comes into being.
It is extremely important for a good editor to not only be adept at copy editing but also add value to a manuscript. This happens when you read constantly be it books , newspapers or magazines. Of course language skills are another must have. Editors are in constant touch with authors who come from all walks life – therefore a friendly personality is always useful.
No previous experience in publishing or an academic qualification in publication is required. Though many graduates from the arts / humanities stream join publishing those type of qualifications are not a prerequisite. Those who want to join the editorial department need to have a bachelor’s preferably a master’s degree. Most people really learn on the job and within the first three months they have sense of whether publishing works for them or not. A good way to test whether you’re apt for this industry is to ask yourself why you want to be in publishing and if the answer is because I love reading, you’re probably not right for publishing. Most people in publishing do love reading, but they do much more than that — they create products for others to read. It’s the same distinction as that between people who love watching movies and people who produce movies for people to watch.
The designations are normally Assistant Editor, Editor, Senior Editor, Managing Editor and Chief Editor. Accordingly there are various operations in a publishing firm – editorial, design production, sales, marketing, customer services, finance and accounting and so on. In editorial there are two basic functions commissioning (which involves liaising with authors and acquiring manuscripts to publish), copy editing (which involves giving the manuscript a publishing form). The entry level position is editorial assistant, from which one proceeds to Copy Editor, senior Copy Editor and so on. In commissioning, this requires some experience in publishing. One proceeds from commissioning Editor to Senior Commissioning Editor etc.