The Most Profitable Jobs In The Book Industry

The Most Profitable Jobs In The Book Industry
  • MatthewDusQues

During the first 6 months of 2023, print book sales in America were up by more than 18% compared to the previous year, according to Publishers Weekly. With sales on the up, now is the perfect time to launch a career in the book industry. But which ones are the most profitable?

Most Profitable Jobs In The Book Industry That You Can Consider

Book editor

Every writer needs an editor. Regardless of whether the writer is self-publishing or going down the traditional route, editing is a must. Self-publishing School advises that rates for editing vary from 1 to 2 cents per word for proofreading, 3 to 7 cents for developmental editing, and between 5 and 18 cents for copyediting.

Book editing is a very profitable business as Forbes reports that there are up to one million books published in the U.S. every year, so there’s a lot of work for editors to do.

As a book editor, you’ll be responsible for suggesting changes to manuscripts. You’ll need to have a good eye for detail, exceptional English skills, and not be afraid to speak up when a manuscript isn’t up to scratch.

Book publisher

You might think traditional publishing is no longer needed due to self-publishing growing in popularity. However, the majority of self-published books only shift 250 copies, according to Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Publishing involves teams of people, including marketers, sales, and production.

When you take on employees like this, you’ll need worker’s compensation insurance. This protects both you and your employees in the workplace. Cerity advises that ‘Workers’ compensation insurance provides all state-required benefits, including reasonable and necessary medical treatment and wage replacement, for employees injured in the course and scope of employment.’

Even though you need to pay out for insurance, there’s still good money to be earned. Indeed reports that the average publisher salary is $70,730, which is higher than the median salary in America.

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. An e-book typically sells for between $0.99 and $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 example, if they buy a book at wholesale for $12.00, the RRP of the book will be $20.00. The possibilities are endless too.

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. The average salary for a literary agent is just under $60,000, but top agents can make $100,000 a year.

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.

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:

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