Publishing as a Career Option
Ranjan K Baruah
It is said that books are our best friends. A book gives us information and also confidence and it motivates us. In simple words, a book is a set of sheets of paper, parchment, or similar materials that are fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is a leaf, and each side of a leaf is a page. Writing or images can be printed or drawn on a book’s pages. An electronic image that is formatted to resemble a book on a computer screen, smart phone or e-reader device is known as an electronic book or e-book. Books are important in our life and there are quite a few careers associated with books. Well, one such career is none other than book publishing.
Publishing includes many other products apart from books. It is a process of distribution of information to the public in the form of books, literature, newspaper, periodicals, magazines and other areas. The profession is associated with printing and retailing of printed matters. The publishing industry has its own set of parameters and is mainly divided into editorial, designing, production, printing, advertising, publicity and marketing. With the advent of digital developments, books, magazines and papers, are being published electronically as e-books or e-papers. In this section we are focusing more on book publishing.
Book publishing has been a traditional career. There are many leading publication houses which are associated with publication of books. With the advancement of technology and internet, nowadays there are soft versions of books which are called as e books. A career in the field of publishing is becoming more and more promising, challenging and thrilling with the expansion of new delivery channels.
Any graduate may take up the career of book publishing. But it is always preferable to have some special training or diploma courses to be successful in this field. Traditionally, there are few publishing houses but now there are many publishing houses associated with book publishing. Several institutes and universities in India are offering Degree, Diploma, PG Diploma and Certificate level courses in book publishing. One may be in the creative and design team and some may be associated with the technical aspect of publications.
There are different departments or sections when it comes to book publishing. Editorial section/department, which is one of the most important departments, is the backbone of a book-publishing house. This department deals with the making of book from the manuscript stage to its final stage. In the editorial department one can work as editor, proof-reader, development editor/ project manager, project assistant, copy editor, assistant editor, sub-editor, subject editor, research editor, etc.
Like the editorial section another important area is the design section. This design section looks into the graphics and does artwork for the books. It is a creative section and knowledge of computer is must as most of the designs are made with computers. In ancient days this section was managed by artist who used to draw instead of performing through computers. .
Another section is related to production. It is the department that gives the final appearance to books and magazines or other published materials. Production department works together with the editorial and design departments, and jointly take decision about the look of the books, terms of its shape, size, cover, number of pages, the typeface and paper to be used, printing and binding of books.
Every business needs good branding, marketing and selling. Book publishing have sales and marketing section too. These sections are responsible for book promotion, book marketing, Internet marketing, conducting and managing book exhibition and fairs, organizing book release programs and sale of the books. There are special courses related to book publishing.
Employment opportunities are available in ministries and other government agencies which have their own publication divisions. Aspirants may get opportunities in Sahitya Academy, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Indian Council of Social Science Research, etc. One could also work in publishing houses such as National Book Trust, NCERT and the Children’s Book Trust. There are opportunities in international and national book publishers.
It can be an employment opportunity and an entrepreneurial start up for many who wants to come to the book publishing field. One needs to be patient and have confidence while entering into this field .
NBT: The National Book Trust (NBT), India Is an Apex Body established by the Government of India (Department Of Higher Education, Ministry Of Human Resource Development) in the Year 1957. The objectives of The NBT are to “Produce and Encourage the Production of Good Literature in English, Hindi and Other Indian Languages” and, “To Make Such Literature Available at Moderate Prices to the Public” and, “To Bring out Book Catalogues, Arrange Book Fairs/Exhibitions and Seminars and take all necessary steps to make the people aware about books.
(Ranjan K Baruah is a social activist and career mentor who has conducted career awareness programme in different parts of Assam and Northeast India and can be reached at [email protected] or 8473943734 for any career related queries )