The Publishing Issue

The Publishing Issue

Different roles in a publishing house


Do you love books? Do you often find yourself wondering if you can make a career in the publishing industry? Well, here’s all you need to know about the different roles you can take up in a publishing house.

The publishing landscape in India has never looked better and is expected to grow upto INR 800 billion by the year 2024. Yup, you read that right – if there ever was a right time to enter the publishing industry, it is now!

So, read on and figure out which department or role interests you the most.


1. Editorial

The editing department is perhaps one of the most popular but its more diverse that you think it is. There are different kinds of editors in a publishing house ranging from copy editors to commissioning editors.

  1. Copy editors make sure the writing is free of errors, they correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes.
  2. A commissioning editor is the one who decides which manuscripts gets converted into books! Yes, this is the person to get in touch with to get your work published.
  3. Developmental and structural editors usually work with authors with potential to help them stay on track with the tone and structure of the story. They guide the authors through the entire writing process and sometimes even help in developing the plot of the story
  4. Proof-readers come in at the last stage of the editing process, they do a final check to spot any errors that may have slipped out.


2. Design

This is a super fun department to work in. The design department works closely with the editing and marketing and sales departments. From designing book covers to marketing collateral, they do it all!


3. Contracts and legal

This department is the backbone of the publishing house. Since, there is a lot of intellectual property involved, the legal department develops the author contract and ensures all laws, rules and by-laws are followed to protect the interests of the publishing house and the author.


4. Rights and sub-rights

The rights department is in charge of acquiring rights to publish books by foreign publishing houses in India and likewise selling rights to publish books by Indian publishing houses abroad. This exchange usually takes place at bookfairs such as the London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Bologna Book Fair, Jaipur Literature Festival etc.


5. Marketing and Publicity

All books that are published require a certain level of marketing push to get them going in the market. This department does just that, from organising author signings and promotional book events they do it all.


6. Sales

The sales and marketing department work closely. Like the name suggests this department manages and helps boost sales of books.


7. Production

This department is in-charge of the actual publishing task. Production and design departments are truly interdependent; no production can take place if the design isn’t approved.


8. Ancillary departments such as HR, IT and Accounts

Like most businesses, publishing houses also have certain departments that work in the background to handle administrative tasks such as Human Resources, Information Technology (IT) and Accounts to ensure that the publishing house can continue its operations effectively.


That’s pretty much all that takes place in a publishing house. If you want to know more about a particular role or department just leave a comment below and we’ll get to it in no time!

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