Employees at publishing houses worked a little bit longer each week and made a little more money in 2013 than they did in 2012. Those were just two of the findings of PW’s annual salary survey, which was conducted this summer and which, for the first time, featured a number of questions on racial diversity in the industry. While it’s no surprise that the publishing sector is overwhelmingly white, the lack of diversity is a bit eye-opening: of the 630 respondents who identified their race, 89% described themselves as white/Caucasian, with 3% selecting Asian and another 3% indicating Hispanic. Only 1% said they are African-American.
The annual survey was sent to nearly 7,500 PW subscribers who work at publishing houses, and a total of about 800 responded. Sixty-one percent of respondents, including 60% of those who identified as white, said that there is little diversity in publishing, while 28% were ambivalent. Only 11% said they think diversity is not an issue.
The dearth of minority employees directly affects the types of books that are published, industry members agreed, and for this issue to be addressed, there needs to be more advocates for books involving people of color throughout the business, including in management, editorial, and marketing executives in publishing houses, as well as among booksellers and librarians.
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Meanwhile, the pay gap between men and women—the other well-known imbalance in the industry—continued in 2013, even though women accounted for 74% of the publishing workforce and men only 26%. The average compensation for men in 2013 was $85,000, the same as in 2012, while average compensation for women rose to $60,750 last year, up from $56,000 the year before. Women filled at least 70% of the jobs in sales and marketing, operations, and editorial, but only 51% of the management positions. The relatively large portion of men in management roles (though they’re still a slight minority there) partly explains the overall pay gap, since those jobs are the best paid in the industry. But men also tended to earn more than female colleagues with similar titles last year, due, in part, to the fact that men tend to have more experience. In 2013, the median number of years of experience for men in the industry was 17, compared to 11 for women (the median for men in management was 19 years, compared to 13.5 for women).
The overall pay increase for members of the publishing industry in 2013 was 2.8%, the same rate of increase reported the year before. As in 2012, last year’s overall figure was held in check by the significant percentage of employees who received no raise. Of those who did receive a raise in 2013, 70% said that it was based on merit, while 18% said their raise was due to a promotion. Only 7% received a cost-of-living adjustment. Not all of those who were promoted, however, received a raise: 55% said that their new job responsibilities came with higher pay.
The average number of hours worked per week also rose last year, to 47, up from 45 in 2012. Some of that extra work may be due to industry cutbacks. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that their company retrenched in 2013, up from 18% the year before, while 23% said their company was expanding, up slightly from 22% in 2012. The increase in layoffs was almost certainly the reason that there was a slight decline in the confidence employees had in their future: 26% of respondents reported being at least somewhat insecure about their jobs in 2013, up from 24% the prior year.
Increased workload was the top complaint among the workforce. More work was cited as a source of dissatisfaction last year by 58% of survey respondents, up from 49% in 2012, overtaking low pay—the perennial leader—as the most frequently cited complaint about the industry. In general, though, publishing employees were satisfied with their jobs in 2013: 85% of respondents reported being at least somewhat satisfied with their current positions.
While some publishers may be cutting back in certain areas, many companies have been creating new jobs to deal with the growth of digital publishing. Sixty-five percent of respondents said that their companies had hired additional personnel to handle digital publishing in the last year, with most of the jobs coming in marketing, followed by production. For existing employees, however, publishers provided little training in working with digital media, with only 30% of respondents reporting that they received some extra training in 2013.
Most publishing industry employees seem to have overcome the fear that the sector is facing collapse: 54% of respondents reported that they are very confident or extremely confident in the industry’s future. The most upbeat groups were management and sales and marketing, with 58% of respondents in both areas expressing optimism. The least bullish group was editorial employees, of whom only 47% were very confident or extremely confident about the future. Viewed another way, employees of trade publishers were the most confident about the future of the industry, while employees in professional publishing were the least.
Fifty-five percent of respondents say that their companies acquired at least one book by a self-published author in 2013, up from 52% in 2012, and 67% of those working for trade publishers said that their companies bought at least one self-published title last year, up from 63% the year before. In general, the bigger the publisher, the more likely it was to have purchased a self-published book: 73% of employees at companies with over $500 million in annual sales say that their firms acquired one or more self-published titles in 2013, while only 40% of employees at publishers with sales below $10 million say their firms bought one or more books from self-publishers.
Publishers’ Views on Industry Diversity
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
(5=strongly agree; 1=strongly disagree):
The publishing industry suffers from a lack of racial diversity?
Years of Experience
58% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with their increased workload in 2013, making it the top complaint about the industry.
|Lack of advancement||54%|
|Problems with management||40%|
|Lack of recognition||43%|
A Little Bit Worried
How secure are you about your job?
Employees were feeling a little less secure at work in 2013 compared to 2012.
Median 2013 Total Compensation
|V-P General Manager||$212,000||$216,000||$174,000|
|Director of Digital Publishing||$118,500||$140,000||$97,000|
|Sales & Marketing||$74,874||$102,600||$65,650|
|Sales Rep/Account Manager||$80,000||$86,650||$79,764|
|Online Marketing Manager||$45,000||$60,000||$40,500|
|International Rights Director/Manager||$72,500||$125,000||$70,000|
|Distribution Manager/Fulfillment Director||$45,000||$45,000||–|
|Product Development Editor/Acquisitions Editor||$72,000||$81,500||$64,100|