The Most Profitable Jobs In The Book Industry 2024

The Most Profitable Jobs In The Book Industry
  • MatthewDusQues

Publishers Weekly shows that during the first six months of 2024, print book sales in America went up over 18%. With sales increasing, this is an ideal time to begin a career in the book industry. However, which areas are the most lucrative?

Most Profitable Jobs In The Book Industry That You Can Consider

Book editor

All writers require editors. Editing is crucial for both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Self-publishing School recommends 1–2 cents per word for proofreading, 3–7 cents for developmental editing, and 5–18 cents for copyediting.

According to Forbes, one million books are published in the U.S. each year, making book editing a lucrative career.

Book editors advise manuscript modifications. You must be detail-oriented, fluent in English, and not afraid to criticize a document.

Book publisher

Self-publishing may have made traditional publishing obsolete. SFWA reports that most self-published books sell 250 copies. Publishing requires sales, marketing, and production teams.

Worker’s compensation is required for such employees. This safeguards your workplace and employees. ‘Workers’ compensation insurance offers all state-required benefits, including reasonable and necessary medical treatment and salary replacement, for employees injured in the course and scope of employment,’ says Cerity.

Even with insurance, you can make good money. Publishers earn $70,730, more than the typical American salary, according to Indeed.

Most Profitable Jobs In The Book Industry That You Can Consider

Physical bookseller

Two-thirds of readers say they prefer physical books to e-books. E-books prices are usually from $0.99 to $14.99. Whereas, a hardback will have a shelf price of approximately $24.99. Mass market paperbacks usually sell for around $8.00, so you can see there’s a lot more money to be made by selling print books.

Booksellers should make at least 40% profit on every book they sell. For instance, if they buy a book at $12 at wholesale, the RRP will be $20. The possibilities are endless too.

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You could become a bookseller on the high street or open an online store. A second-hand book store is an option as well. You could even go with a niche market and sell rare, original, and signed books.

Literary agent

Literary agents represent authors and ensure they get the best deal possible for their work. Most editors and publishers won’t even consider a writer’s work if they don’t have a literary agent backing them.

Literary agents do a bit of everything so this is a good career if you like a job that’s different every day. As a literary agent, you’ll read through manuscripts, accept and reject clients, pitch books to publishers, carry out market research, negotiate royalties, and attend book launches, among other things.

The more experience you have and the more quality talent you represent, the greater your earnings will be. A literary agent’s annual income is typically about $60,000, while elite agents can make $100,000.

Depending on experience and publishing company size, book editors earn $50,000–$100,000.

Book reviewer

Reading is the most popular pastime in the world, according to Skillscouter. If reading is something you love and can’t get enough of, then becoming a book reviewer is the ideal vocation for you.

Book reviews are crucial to authors as they increase sales, improve a book’s visibility, and increase credibility. The average salary for a book reviewer is just over $62,000. However, some reviewers make around $154,000 per annum. The amount you earn depends on how many books you review, the quality of your reviews, and how influential you are.

Literary agent

Literary scout

Another job that involves reading a lot is a literary scout. Literary scouts look for the best books to be translated and sold in other countries. Some literary scouts also work for television and film studios.

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These scouts will find books to buy the rights to so they can be turned into a TV show or movie. Glassdoor reports that literary scouts earn anything from $35,000 per year to $105,000, so there is plenty of potentials to earn a sizable income if you decide on this as a career.

An author

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average author in the U.S. makes just over $61,000 per year. To make a decent income as an author, you’ll need the backing of an amazing literary agent. The higher the royalties they secure for you, the more you’ll make.

As a general rule, authors earn between 5% and 20% per book sold. You’ll usually make more money with every book you release as you’ll have a larger back catalog for your readers to buy from. Your earnings will also increase if you bag a two-book per year deal rather than one.

As a book lover, it makes sense to have a career in the industry. Of course, you’ll want to make good money too and these jobs allow you to do just that.

You can read more about some jobs of the future:


What are the highest paying jobs in the book industry?

Some of the highest paying jobs in the book industry include book editors, literary agents, publishing executives, and authors with a substantial following.

Can you make a good living as a book editor?

Yes, book editors can make a good living if they have the necessary skills and experience. A book editor’s salary can range from $50,000 to over $100,000 per year, depending on their level of experience and the size of the publishing company they work for.

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What is the job outlook for literary agents?

The job outlook for literary agents is positive, as there will always be a need for literary representation in the publishing industry. However, competition for literary agent positions can be fierce, and many aspiring agents work as interns or assistants before becoming full-fledged agents.

Can you make a good living as an author?

While it is feasible to earn a decent income as an author, it is also a highly competitive field. A prosperous author must possess excellent writing skills, a distinctive viewpoint, and the aptitude to efficiently promote their work. The remuneration of an author can vary significantly, ranging from a few thousand dollars per year to millions, based on their level of accomplishment.

What other jobs in the book industry pay well?

Other jobs in the book industry that can pay well include marketing managers, production managers, and rights and permissions specialists. These professionals are responsible for promoting books, overseeing the production process, and securing the rights to use content in books, respectively.


In conclusion, the book industry offers a variety of jobs with the potential for high earnings. From book editors and literary agents, to publishing executives and successful authors, there are many paths to a profitable career in the industry. Nevertheless, for those with a passion for books and a drive to succeed, the book industry offers exciting and rewarding career opportunities.