Publishing & Literary

There are a wide range of opportunities in book publishing. Some departments you may find include: Editorial, Finance, Contracts, Publicity, Art & Design, Production, Information Technology, Marketing/Advertising/Promotions, Subsidiary Rights and Permissions, Sales, Internet Development, Distribution. A rapidly growing trend in the publishing arena is electronic, audio, and new media formats. For those who are technologically savvy, opportunities abound in this growing segment of the industry.

Generally speaking publishers tend to fall into one of two categories, large publishing houses or small independent presses. The large publishing houses have a number of imprints that fall under their umbrella (ex: Doubleday is an imprint of Random House). Regardless of size, publishing houses may focus on one segment or be divided into multiple divisions that each specialize in a particular segment.

Five primary segments of book publishing:

  •     Fiction: Literature, Romance, Science Fiction, Mystery, Crime, etc.
  •     Non-Fiction: Cookbooks, Self-Help, Biography, Travel, etc.
  •     Educational: Textbooks – Elementary, Secondary, Post-Secondary
  •     Professional & Scholarly: Legal, Technical, Scientific, Medical, etc.
  •     Children’s & Young Adult

It is important to recognize the range of possibilities encompassed in the five segments and to identify which segment(s) your interests and skills best lend themselves to. This will help you as you look for publishing houses or independent presses to target in your job or internship search. Though working in any segment of the industry will provide you with valuable experience, you may find your work more enjoyable if you are in a segment that genuinely interests you.

In addition to working in a publishing house, there are a number of complimentary career options that those interested in publishing may want to consider, including literary agencies, literary journals, book reviews, and for those with language fluency, literary translation. Literary agents, sometimes referred to as author’s representatives, connect talented authors with editors at the appropriate publishing houses, assuring that promising works do not get buried in a pile of unsolicited manuscripts. Literary agents provide authors with honest feedback on the marketability of their work, provide editorial guidance to assure the work is ready to be submitted to a publishing house for initial review, connect the author to the appropriate publishing house representatives, and assist with contract negotiation.

In addition to publishing houses and literary agencies, literary journals are another area to consider. Literary journals typically publish short stories, poetry, essays, literary criticism, book reviews, and author profiles. Working at a literary journal can give you insight into the editorial process and experience working with authors, many of whom are well established in their careers. For those of you who love reading and critiquing books, book review may be an option to consider. Though it can be difficult to initially break into this area, you can start by voluntarily reviewing books for websites and for local newsweeklies in order to build up samples of your work. Once you’ve developed a portfolio of sample reviews, you can use to this to approach larger publications and book review websites, including Publishers Weekly, for freelance assignments.

For those with language fluency, literary translation or working with books in translation is another possible career option. An advanced degree in translation/literary translation and/or an advanced language degree is often a prerequisite to become a translator, though with an undergraduate degree you may be able to work with organizations that promote and support books in translation, such as Words Without Borders, Germany Book News, and PEN American Center, as well as imprints and publishers that work with books in translation, such as Amazon Crossing.

Things to Consider

Interning in a publishing house is recommended for anyone considering a career in the book publishing industry. Most publishing houses and small independent presses have summer internship opportunities. Larger publishing houses may offer paid internships; opportunities in smaller and independent presses may be paid or unpaid. The center of the publishing industry is New York City, though if you want to spend your summer elsewhere, there are opportunities throughout the U.S., often times with independent publishing houses, university presses, literary agencies or literary journals. Smaller publishing houses and independent presses are great places to try out the publishing industry and get experience, as you may have the chance to get involved with and gain exposure to a wider range of functions during your internship, and see the process of publishing a book in its entirety.

Start by searching for opportunities at publishing houses, literary agencies, or journals that genuinely interest you. Who is publishing authors and pieces that you genuinely enjoy reading? Proactively seek out opportunities; as with many other industries, openings are not always advertised. Contact the publication directly to determine if opportunities exist; if nothing is available at the time, try and get an informational interview to learn more about the publishing house, press, agency or publication and make a connection, as you never know where that connection may lead in the future.

Mentoring Master Class: Peer Mentoring Groups

Mentors shape our careers by guiding us through difficult decisions. But, how do you find a good mentor? In this series, Dr. Joanne Kamens advocates for the use of Peer Mentoring Groups as a method to provide and receive valuable …

By Chelsea Xu
Chelsea Xu Profile Picture
Read more »

Forage’s Virtual Work Experiences

Forage offers virtual work experiences, which are online programs built and endorsed by leading companies. Each virtual work experience contains a series of resources and tasks designed to simulate the real-world experience of starting a career. They are 5-6 hours …

By Yale Office of Career Strategy
Yale Office of Career Strategy Yale Office of Career Strategy
Read more »

6 Options for International Students Who Didn’t Win the H-1B Lottery

by Derek Loosvelt | May 04, 2021

“Another H-1B lottery season has come to an end. This year, the number of applications far exceeded the 85,000 allotted H-1Bs, the visas international students typically need to work in the U.S. after graduation. …

By external content
external content external content
Read more »

4th Annual Yale Postdoc Symposium

We invite you to the 4th Annual Postdoc Symposium to be held ONLINE on Tuesday, June 15th, and on Thursday, June 17th, 2021. The symposium welcomes Postdocs and Associate Research Scientists (ARS) from all departments and fields of research to …

By Chelsea Xu
Chelsea Xu Profile Picture
Read more »

Adobe Creative Careers

Announcing the Adobe Creative Career Community student newsletter

Check out Adobe’s Creative Career Newsletter: “your go-to source for the latest events, opportunities, and resources to help you launch your career.”  Readers will find tutorials, offices hours, opportunities to see early …

By Derek I. Webster
Derek I. Webster Senior Associate Director for Creative Careers Derek I. Webster
Read more »

Sidebar

Career Resources

Career Outcomes

Tip: Helpful Tips on using the Interactive Tool:

  • There is no Enter or Submit Button  Results will appear automatically with your selections
  • Choose ‘All Years’ or ‘All Majors’- For results across years and majors or check one for more granular results.
    • Default results will show the most recent Class Year.
    • Uncheck selected major(s) to reset your search
    • The tool will return results with at least five responses. If you require additional information contact the Office of Career Strategy

Most Recent Class Overview

Knowledge Rate Success Rate Mean Starting Salary Top Five Industries
91.6% of those graduating between July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020 91.7% employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation $71,030 among graduates employed in the United States. Financial Services, Education, Consulting, Technology and Healthcare
  • First Destination
  • Top Employers
  • Employment Industry and Function
  • Size of the Organization
  • Starting Salary
  • Time of Year Offer Received
  • Co-curricular and Study Abroad Experiences
  • First Destination Locations
  • Top Universities
  • Advanced Degrees Pursued

First Destination

First Destination refers to the postgraduate plans of Yale College graduates six months after graduation. The pursuits of Yale graduates include employment, graduate school, independent research, military service, and more.

CONTACT & LOCATION

Phone
(203) 432-0800
Address

55 Whitney Avenue, 3rd Fl.
New Haven, CT 06510

SERVICE HOURS

  Academic Year Summer Hours
M 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
T 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
W 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
TH 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
F 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm

The office is closed weekends, holidays, and recess days.