As The Bookseller publishes its Market Focus on University Presses, some senior figures in the industry share their advice for people wanting to work in academic publishing at the moment.
"Keep open, keep learning and stay flexible"
Academic publishing has changed beyond recognition during my thirty-year career. Global, digital, diverse, and ever changing, it is a wonderful career but one with a constant need to build and develop new skills and aptitudes. So, my advice would be to keep open, keep learning and stay flexible.
– David Clark, managing director of Oxford University Press’ academic division
"Consider jobs in adjacent professions"
People considering careers in academic publishing should also consider jobs in adjacent professions such as libraries, museums, and bookstores, as that type of work lends itself to academic publishing work and will enhance their résumé if it takes some time to land a publishing position.
– Lisa Bayer, director of the University of Georgia Press and president-elect of the Association of University Presses
"Publishing is a varied business – do lots of research"
There are more opportunities out there than you may think at the moment. Also, publishing is a varied industry – think about what aspect you want to go into, whether commissioning, editing, production, finance, sales, marketing and so on. Do lots of research, think about your skills and experience and what aspects would suit you. Publishing is a people business, and much more complex than many people realise, so don’t be afraid to reach out to us and ask what it’s about. Finally, proofread any application you send in.
– Natalie Williams, director of the University of Wales Press
"Academic publishing is changing fast"
Academic publishing is changing fast and the career you start today is likely to look very different five years from now. If you are excited by that pace of change and by knowing that what you do can inform key international debates and help to shape the future of the industry and of research and education worldwide, then this is the career for you.
– Mandy Hill, managing director of academic publishing at Cambridge University Press