Starting In Publishing22/10/2014 08:15:07

What Do You need to Start Your Own Publishing Business?

The publishing industry has changed dramatically over recent times with the advent of electronic publishing (eg. Web sites and CD's). Yet quality writing and illustrations will always be needed by publishers irrespective of the format in which they are published.

The need for writers, editors, proof readers, illustrators, and layout artists will always be strong. The way in which these services will be provided in the future, and the way the work will be published, however, is less certain.

For a secure long term career in writing or publishing, you are advised to develop broad-based skills and a capacity to be innovative and adaptable. Your attitude and motivation must keep you at the forefront of industry, and you must remain willing to learn new things and change the way you approach your work fast, grasping the right new opportunities when they present themselves and rejecting the wrong ones.

This is an industry where formal training is a big help, but never a guarantee of employment.

People who learn to write well simply won't make a good living unless they can also write fast, meet deadlines, and are prepared to write what and how particular publishers want them to write. People who can write well won't sustain a career unless what they write meets the publisher's requirements. For most publishers, that means that the writing must also attracts money, usually through advertising or sales. 

Many of those who work in the publishing industry have never undertaken a formal course, while many who undertake a formal course do not succeed in this industry. Many people with university degrees in journalism or writing have great difficulty every getting work in this industry. Others who do very well after completing a sound short course that isn't even accredited in any way. 

One reason for this is that most publishers will only take on those who are willing to work their way through the organisation to become thoroughly familiar with that publisher's way of doing things. Most publishers themselves have gotten into their positions in that way, starting as apprentices or in rather insignificant positions and proving themselves as they work their way up. They know that publishing is often very demanding work, with long hours in return for small rewards, and requiring careful attention to detail, as well as a 'feeling' for what might sell and what might not. If you want to become a publisher, be willing to do whatever it takes to gain experience. 

Undertaking a course is one of several ways people break into a publishing career. But before enrolling in a course, be sure to investigate exactly what it will give you, and be realistic about what you might achieve from it.  If possible, choose a course that gives you practical publishing experience, as that can give you an edge.