Traditionally, publishing has been a print industry, but in recent years the internet and digital media have transformed this ﬁeld. Many magazines, newspapers, and publishing companies have transitioned to include digital distribution.
- Magazines: The ﬁeld of magazine publishing covers a wide variety of content and job opportunities. There are over 18,000 magazine titles published in the United States, focusing on everything from news to fashion to lifestyle, including every sport, activity, or hobby imaginable. There are many facets to magazine publishing, including content and writing, art and production, and business and marketing.
- Books: Book publishing is a relatively small industry in the publishing ﬁeld. The ﬁeld covers a huge array of genres, including classics, cookbooks, children’s literature, textbooks, and religious texts. Common positions in book publishing include editors, marketers, graphic designers, digital specialists and production experts.
- Newspapers: Although the newspaper industry as a whole is in decline, newspapers continue occupy an important place in American media. A vast array of publication types, like local or community papers, regional or metropolitan dailies, and specialized papers that cater to speciﬁc populations, allow for a broad range of positions in the newspaper business. Positions at newspapers include writer, editor, digital content specialists, advertising sales, publisher, and circulation manager.
Publishing Job Search
Positions in publishing are often exciting, deadline-driven, and may have you doing something diﬀerent every day. The publishing industry employs workers with a variety of skills, and the state of the industry encourages creative, adventurous people who are dedicated to preserving print media. Those with experiences across a variety of functions and departments are also highly valued.
Magazines employ workers in a number of diﬀerent ﬁelds, including content, production, and business. Common entry-level positions include editorial assistants, associate editors, copy editors, researchers, and reporters. More experienced positions are senior editors, managing editors, editorial directors and editors-in-chief. On the production side, assistant photo editor and production assistant are common entry-level positions, reporting to art directors and production managers. Magazines also employ marketing managers, circulation managers, advertising managers, and publishers in pursuit of their business goals. Newspapers similarly employ staﬀ in diﬀerent ﬁelds, like content and business. Desk assistants, copy editors, proofreaders, reporters, photographers, graphic artists, and editors all work to produce content, while account executives, marketing and promotion staﬀ, and publishers work for the business side. Likewise, despite the breadth of genres in this ﬁeld, all book publishing employs editors, marketers, salespeople, and production specialists.
Like many ﬁelds in the media sector, most people ﬁnd their full-time positions in publishing through networking/word-of-mouth and current or former internships. You can meet people in the ﬁeld by starting to attend networking events or conducting informational interviews. Additionally, working with student publications is a great way to gain experience and build your portfolio of work. And, LionSHARE as well as speciﬁc, industry job boards (see below) can aid in your search to ﬁnd a great opportunity. While there are always outliers, most employers in the ﬁeld recruit interns and full time employees a semester prior to the position start date.
Recently, editorial, sales, and HR representatives from New York City publishing houses visited Columbia to meet with students and shared that most publishers are looking to ﬁll entry-level rolls within 2-3 weeks of conducting interviews, so be ready to apply later in your last spring semester. Another way they recommended getting into the industry is to ﬁnd temporary positions through a temp agency, which will give you exposure to the ﬁeld and allow you to network with colleagues along the way. Some large publishers may also have post-graduation or ‘after college’ internships available, which can be found on the career pages of the company website.
For your application materials, a thoughtful and well written resume and cover letter are required. Hiring managers in this ﬁeld are not only looking at your communication and writing style, but they want to know why you are passionate about the position, department, and organization you are applying to. When applicable, you should also include a link to your online portfolio or LinkedIn proﬁle on your resume, so employers can see your past writing, design, or project experience. If you are applying to digital or marketing positions, be sure that you include relevant social media proﬁles that have been updated to be professional and relevant to the organization you are applying to.
- LionSHARE: Thousands of positions are posted on LionSHARE every year. Past employers who have recruited for publishing positions include Allure Magazine, Forbes Media, Penguin Group, and Newsweek.
- CCE Career Fairs: Our Undergraduate Career Fair and Spring Career Fair include organizations from many industries including media. Recent publishing companies who have recruited at Columbia Career Fairs include Crain Communications Inc., Rodale Inc., and Open Road Integrated Media.
- Book Publishing Showcase: Held once every academic year, this career panel and networking events hosts representatives from a variety of companies, including Oxford University Press, Springer Nature, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, Houghton Miﬄin Harcourt, Workman Publishing, and International Publications Media Group LLC.
- CCE Sponsored Internships: We sponsor internships in the spring and summer in a variety of ﬁelds and industries.
- Vault and WetFeet Guides: CCE subscribes to these web-accessible career guides, which provide in-depth descriptions of industries, companies, and careers. Check out Vault’s Career Guide to Book Publishing and Wetfeet’s Career Overview: Writing and Editing Industry Overview: Journalism and Publishing.
- Brooklyn Brainery: Find classes on anything and everything including writing.
- Center for Communication: Non-proﬁt focused on preparing college students for careers in media.
- GalleyCat: News on the latest digital and print publishing trends, and new books and authors.
- Meetup Writers Groups: Find other writers for support and feedback.
- The Representation Matters: A mentorship program for self-identified people of color who are interested in joining the publishing industry.
- News Media Alliance: News and opinion about the newspaper and journalism industry.
- Publishers Weekly (PW): Weekly magazine that features articles and news on all aspects of the book business.
- Publishing Trends: Monthly periodical that explores and explains industry trends.
- Shelf Awareness: Weekly newsletters featuring best books of the week, author interviews, and more.
- We Need Diverse Books: Check out their internship grant for students from diverse backgrounds who are looking to join the children’s publishing industry.