Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Salary Survey from Publishers Weekly

It's that time of year again--time to see how the publishing industry is stacking up in terms of pay. Publishers Weekly released its annual salary survey results yesterday. To summarize the interesting points from the magazine's summary:
  • Average raises in 2007 were 4.2%.
  • Bonuses are lower--in some cases, managers got half of what they got in the preceding year.
  • Sixteen percent of employees are "very unhappy" with their jobs. Reasons cited included low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, and company and industry instability.
  • Speaking of instability, 18% of educational publishing professionals are "very worried" about keeping their jobs. With all the consolidation going on, I'm surprised that's not higher.
  • Fewer than 80% of current publishing employees would recommend the career to a college graduate. This is a new low in the history of the survey.
  • The gender gap in salaries is pronounced, where men earn an average of $103,822 and women average just $64,742. In the past this discrepancy has been blamed on the fact that women tend to be in editorial jobs and men are in management and sales. However, even within editorial the men are averaging $67,000, whereas women average just $48,000.

See the full article online for more details, and watch for the printed article, which will presumably contain more actual salary numbers by function.


Dan said...

From Publisher Weekly's short article: "The combination of low pay and job insecurity seems to have taken some of the luster off of working in publishing."

It is essentially taken as an article of faith that the publishing industry pays poorly. If I had a nickel for every time I heard some form of the statement, "You won't make much money in publishing," I'd be able to supplement my "low" publishing salary quite nicely.

I disagree with this conventional wisdom. I'm a 31-year old editor at a nonprofit publisher in Boston and earn a salary of $47,500. It is reasonable to believe that within five years I will return to the for-profit publishing world and command a salary that exceeds $60,000.

Now let's imagine I were married to another publishing professional who earned a similar income. Our combined salaries would easily exceed $100,000.

Considering that households that earn an excess of $100,000 per year are amongst the top 15.73 percent of household incomes in the country, I feel that a publishing salary is just fine. This constant griping about publishing salaries just doesn't make much sense to me.

I'd like to read the thoughts of other readers. Do you think that publishing pays poorly? Why do you feel this way? Why do you think other publishing professionals feel this way?

Lori Cates Hand said...

Hi Dan,

I agree with you. Together my husband and I do just fine financially. The more important issue is that we are doing what we love and what suits us best. You can't get much richer than that.

Any ideas from anyone else out there?

pulitzer2010 said...

Hi Dan and lori

I am entering into my senior year at Hunter College and just wanted to know the best way to get into publishing as an undergraduate (American Lit Major Creative W and Screen writing Minor)

And perhaps what publishing companies tend to hire interns at a reasonable starting salary...

It would be very much appreciated and I promise that as soon as I get the job I will comment on your question.

Ty said...

You will start as an unpaid intern. Then, depending on if you're in marketing/sales/editorial/design, you will have a very low starting pay - between $28,000-$40,000. Then you will have to stay for years and years before you even get a promotion because the industry is stuck in a 50's mentality (Get in a good company and stay there for life!). And this is the salary for a very well-known publisher in New York City.