While digital has disrupted much of the industry, some characteristics of the workforce remain the same.
“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.”
Some interesting findings:
- Out of a total of about 800 respondents, 61% said there is little diversity in publishing, while 28% were ambivalent and 11% said they did not think diversity was an issue. The publishing industry’s diversity (or lack thereof) directly affects what kind of books are put into print, and most industry members agree there needs to be “more advocates for books involving people of color throughout the business.”
- The workforce is dominated by women (74%), but men earn more overall because of higher rates of employment in management.
- The pay gap between men and women in publishing persisted in 2013, with the average male employee earning $85,000 per year and the average female employee earning $60,750 annually, up from $56,000 the year before.
- The top complaint among employees in publishing was the increased workload, with 58% of survey respondents claiming they were dissatisfied with the two hour weekly increase (about 47 hours/week, up, up from 45 the previous year).
- However, publishing employees were satisfied with their jobs overall: 85% of respondents reported being at least some-what satisfied with their current positions.
- Most publishing industry employees seem to have overcome the fear that the sector is facing collapse: 54% of respondents said they were very confident or extremely confident in the future of publishing.
- Self-publishing is also having an impact on the industry, according to the survey. Fifty-five percent of respondents said their companies acquired books from self-published authors in the past year; among trade publishers, that portion was higher, at 67%.
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