All of us, at one point of time or the other
since our childhood, have had something to do with the books so as to meet
our respective curricular requirements at school, college and university
levels. Some of us were 'bookworms' and some of us read them because we had
to. At that stage, books relating to favourite subjects were relished. Later
on in the life reading novels and other magazines catering to different
fields of interest becomes our pastime. But have you ever stopped for a
while to think about the people who made these books happen to us? Not
really, because most of the people think that books are written by authors
and they sell it in the market whereas, in reality, though the books are
written by somebody (of course), they go through so many processes before
finding their way to the market.
When a writer completes her/his works, she / he approaches a publishing
house, which deal in publishing of books, magazines etc. If the author is a
prominent one, she / he is approached by the publishing house(s) to write on
In a publishing house, the editorial is one of the most important
departments, which deals with marking of book from the manuscript stage to
what finally appears on market shelves. It is editor's job to edit a
manuscript, work closely with the author in order to understand what she /
he is trying to convey, make sure that the essence of the storyline is not
lost and present the book in a manner that will appeal to the readers.
The editor's job is very challenging. Each author is difficult because of
their idiosyncrasies. Therefore, to become a good editor you will have to
put your ego aside and be in good control of your emotions. Apart from an
interest in the books, a strong command over language you wish to work in,
an eye for detail and an overall general awareness are required to become a
good editor. Though one has to be a graduate in order to apply, most
publishing houses prefer postgraduates.
Most of the publishing houses are departmentalised into subjects. If they
hire somebody to work on books on economics, they would prefer a person with
specialisation in that particular subject. Further, when editing a work of
non - fiction or a textbook, a transparent and fluid writing style is
required. In some of the publishing houses like Tata McGraw - Hill, which is
purely into technical books, the editors need to work with the author right
from the project inception stage on the scope and versatility of the
content. Even the format in which the author must develop and submit the
content is critical in order to avoid technical errors during production.
The work hours for editors are usually fixed but it can get hectic at times
when a deadline has to be met. As usual, the pay salaries vary from one
publishing house to another. The starting salary could be anywhere between
Rs. 8,000 - 10,000. It may take you about 5 - 6 years to reach a position of
a senior commissioning editor, where the salaries range between Rs. 35,000 -
40,000. There is no doubt, it is a challenging job, but you can derive
satisfaction from trying out your creativity as well.
Another important department in a publishing house is sales. The job
involves bringing out the inherent values of the book(s) in front of the
readers. That's why an interest in books is considered necessary to get a
job in this department as well.
There are a few more areas which have grown in importance over the years
like marketing. It's main aim is to keep track of sale of books and overall
market prices. Publicity and Promotions has now become an important aspect
due to media hype and glittering book launches.
A few short - term courses on publishing are available, but they are not
considered a 'must' for anyone interested in pursuing publishing as a
career. An eye for detail can only be acquired on the job.
Publishing in India is a rapidly growing industry. It can be explained by
the fact that most international publishing houses such as Penguin, Harper
Collins, Picador, Random House, Oxford University Press and MacMillan either
have a full - fledged office or representatives in the country, simply goes
to prove that. If you are interested in intellectual growth and quenching
your thirst for knowledge, then publishing is the profession for you.
Post - Graduate Diploma in Book Publishing, College of Vocation Studies
Duration : 2 years, 4 days a week every evening.
Fees : Rs. 350 per month
Certificate Course by the National Book Trust
Duration : 4 weeks, 9 am to 5.30 pm every day
Fees : Rs. 3500
Shankar's Academy and Sterling Publishers also offer short - term courses in