Work in publishing

Publishing is the home of creativity and communication. It’s where the world’s most brilliant and original minds bring their ideas to be presented to the world. From research scientists to children’s book illustrators, from celebrity chefs to Nobel Laureates, publishing is about communicating ideas and connecting people with content that matters. Publishers are at the heart of the information economy, getting those ideas out to the world and the people that need them.

Think publishing is about dusty books and long lunches? Think again.

At its most fundamental, publishing is simply making concepts public. It’s about communicating ideas, making connections, linking people who are creating content with people who need that content. The information economy is powered by ideas, and publishers are at the heart of getting those ideas out to the world and in a way that will have the most impact.


A Literary Agency represents writers and their work to publishers and TV/film producers, assisting in the sale and negotiation of contracts. Main aspects of the role of an agent’s job involve talent spotting and author care. Literary agents have a good knowledge of the current market and trends, as well as maintaining key contacts within the publishing industry.

Some agents look after a variety of genres and writers, whilst others specialise on a certain genre such as fiction or children’s.

Literary Agent Assistant
A Literary Agent Assistant supports the busy office of a literary agent.

Literary Agent
A Literary Agent represents authors to publishers and helps writers get their stories made into books.


An Audio Department bring together producers and narrators to create audio versions of books. The audiobook team is responsible for casting the ideal narrator for a certain audiobook, in order to capture the correct voice and perspective.

Audio Assistant
An Audio Assistant supports the day to day running of the Audio department.

Audio Publisher
An Audio Publisher contributes to the publication of high-quality audio editions of books.

Audience and digital development

The Audience and Digital Development teams gather and analyse data to match books with readers. The digital development team are responsible for planning and implementing new web initiatives as well as evaluating new ways of working to enhance business efficiency and capability.

Head of Data, Insight & Analytics
The Head of Data, Insight & Analytics helps shape publishing strategies through consumer insight.

Marketing and communications

The Marketing Department focus on getting the book in front of consumers by developing and implementing marketing campaigns including social media and advertising.

Marketing Assistant
Marketing Assistant provides administrative support to the marketing team and throughout the campaign process from initial concept to delivery.

Marketing Manager
A Marketing Manager plans, implements and manages campaigns for a range of titles.

Communications Assistant
A Communications Assistant assists the Communications Director and Communications Manager on all corporate communications matters.

Communications Director
A Communications Director is responsible for sharing messages about the company to staff inside the company as well as to the wider world.

Digital Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager looks after the overall running of and strategy for digital marketing platforms and social media accounts for the company, as well as working on the digital aspects of book marketing campaigns.


The Design Department develop the design of book covers and other design materials for the book. In some publishing houses the design team also work on marketing assets for the company. The design department is a crucial part to the process with the book cover forming the first, important consumer impression of the book.

The design team tends to be in-house, but in some smaller publishing houses they tend to source the design work from a design company outside of the publishing house.

Artist or Illustrator
An Artist or Illustrator reinterprets a text written by an author which they then communicate into an artwork or illustration.

Junior Designer
A Junior Designer’s job is to help sell the author’s book by making the cover the best it can be.

A Designer is a crucial part of the publishing process. They work with a range of different illustrators and publishing brands.

Art Director
An Art Director leads a team of designers, influencing all design work created in the Design Department.


The Editorial Department manages the commissioning of new books, liaising with authors from the beginning of the project to publication. The Editorial team essentially project manages titles throughout the process to ensure it becomes a finished book published to a high standard of accuracy.

Editorial Assistant
An Editorial Assistant provides administrative support to the editorial team.

Assistant Editor
An Assistant Editor assists the publisher and commissioning editor with the development and delivery of a manuscript.

Commissioning Editor
A Commissioning Editor is responsible for identifying new authors, book titles or ideas for publication.


The Production Department are responsible for making the book, whether that’s a physical printed book or a digital ebook.

Production Assistant
A Production Assistant provides administrative and general support to the production team.


The Publicity teams within publishing houses create campaigns to spread the word about new books and encourage readers to buy them. The main goal is to connect authors’ books with readers – reaching people who already read the author’s books or similar genres, as well as introducing the book to new audiences who might be interested in the story or subject matter.

In a world where thousands of entertainment providers (from TV to film and theatre to podcasts) are fighting for people’s attention each day, people working in Publicity need to be creative and think outside the box to make sure they can cut through the noise and make their books appeal to potential readers. Creating a ‘buzz’ around a book often directly results in book sales.

To create this buzz, people in Publicity work closely with the media. They spend a lot of time speaking to journalists to secure book reviews, features or interviews with the author, to generate ‘publicity’ for the book and make sure as many people know about it as possible. They also work closely with the author to promote the book through events, such as book launches, author tours or literary festivals. Finally, they will often create publicity ‘stunts’ to draw even more attention to the book.

The work of the Publicity teams usually plays a significant role in making a book a bestseller. They usually work very closely with the author of the book to help them promote it as much as possible.

Publicity Assistant
A Publicity Assistant supports the wider Publicity team in developing and executing their book campaign.

A Publicist gets publicity coverage for the books and clients they work with.

Publicity Manager
A Publicity Manager creates exciting, creative and impactful publicity campaigns which drive sales.

Publicity Director
A Publicity Director leads a team of people to make sure each book reaches the largest possible audience.

Press Officer
A Press Officer works on a range of innovative campaigns designed to grab the attention of readers.


The Rights Department is responsible for licensing different version of the book, such as a film adaptation or translation into a foreign language, so that the book makes as much money as possible.

Rights Assistant
A Rights Assistant provides administrative support to account managers as they focus their efforts on continuous customer care and securing sales.

Rights Executive
A Rights Executive is responsible for selling co-editions and rights in specified territories.

Rights Director
A Rights Director is responsible for selling books to lots of different publishers around the world to publish them in into different languages, including American English for sale in different countries.



The Sales Department works out how to get books to consumers by finding different channels for distribution.

Sales Assistant
A Sales Assistant provides support to the sales team. 

Special Sales Coordinator
A varied role which requires juggling numerous tasks while being deadline focused and results driven.

Sales / Account Manager
A key part of a Sales / Account Manager’s role is the ability to be able to access readers, and connect them to books they love.

Export Sales Director
An Export Sales Director sells books to bookshops and online booksellers in different countries.