Book publisher


Book publishers are responsible for the selection of new materials. They decide which manuscripts, that the book editor has provided, are being published. Book publishers oversee the production, marketing and distribution of these texts.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to book publisher:

publishing house manager

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as book publisher. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Book publisher is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Book publisher career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to book publisher.

book editor
publications coordinator
movie distributor
copy editor
magazine editor

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of book publisher. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of book publisher with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of book publisher.

Project management principles: Different elements and phases of project management.
Copyright legislation: Legislation describing the protection of the rights of original authors over their work, and how others can use it.
Publishing market: The trends in the publishing market and the type of books that are are appealing to a certain audience.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of book publisher.

Manage budgets: Plan, monitor and report on the budget.
Manage staff: Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.
Select manuscripts: Select manuscripts to be published. Decide if they reflect the company policy.
Consult information sources: Consult relevant information sources to find inspiration, to educate yourself on certain topics and to acquire background information.
Present publishing plan: Present the timeline, budget, layout, marketing plan, and sales plan for the publishing of a publication.
Consult with editor: Consult with the editor of a book, magazine, journal or other publications about expectations, requirements, and progress.
Develop professional network: Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.
Perform project management: Manage and plan various resources, such as human resources, budget, deadline, results, and quality necessary for a specific project, and monitor the project’s progress in order to achieve a specific goal within a set time and budget.
Read manuscripts: Read incomplete or complete manuscripts from new or experienced authors.
Execute marketing plan: Carry out all the activities involved in achieving specific marketing objectives within a given timeframe.
Assess financial viability: Revise and analyse financial information and requirements of projects such as their budget appraisal, expected turnover, and risk assessment for determining the benefits and costs of the project. Assess if the agreement or project will redeem its investment, and whether the potential profit is worth the financial risk.
Perform market research: Gather, assess and represent data about target market and customers in order to facilitate strategic development and feasibility studies. Identify market trends.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of book publisher. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Literature: The body of artistic writing characterized by beauty of expression, form, and universality of intellectual and emotional appeal.
Sales argumentation: Techniques and sales methods used in order to present a product or service to customers in a persuasive manner and to meet their expectations and needs.
Digital marketing techniques: The marketing techniques used on the web to reach and engage with stakeholders, customers and clients.
Sales activities: The supply of goods, sale of goods and the related financial aspects. The supply of goods entails the selection of goods, import and transfer. The financial aspect includes the processing of purchasing and sales invoices, payments etc. The sale of goods implies the proper presentation and positioning of the goods in the shop in terms of acessibility, promotion, light exposure.
Graphic design: The techniques to create a visual representation of ideas and messages.
Brand marketing techniques: The methods and systems used in researching and establishing a brand identity for marketing purposes.
Content marketing strategy: The process of creation and share of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.
Spelling: The rules concerning the way words are spelled.
Desktop publishing: The creation of documents using page layout skills on a computer. Desktop publishing software can generate layouts and produce typographic quality text and images.
Grammar: The set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language.
Marketing principles: The principles of managing the relationship between consumers and products or services for the purpose of increasing sales and improving advertising techniques.
Sales strategies: The principles concerning customer behaviour and target markets with the aim of promotion and sales of a product or a service.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of book publisher. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Plan marketing strategy: Determine the objective of the marketing strategy whether it is for establishing image, implementing a pricing strategy, or raising awareness of the product. Establish approaches of marketing actions to ensure that goals are achieved efficiently and over a long term.
Apply desktop publishing techniques: Apply desktop publishing techniques and software to create page layouts and typographic quality text.
Check correctness of information: Check if the information contains factual errors, is reliable, and has news value.
Attend book fairs: Attend fairs and events to get familiar with new book trends and to meet with authors, publishers, and others in the publishing sector.
Manage distribution channels: Oversee distribution channels with regards to the requirements of customers.
Proofread text: Read a text thoroughly, search for, review and correct errors to ensure content is valid for publishing.
Apply social media marketing: Employ website traffic of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to generate attention and participation of existing and potential customers through discussion forums, web logs, microblogging and social communities for gaining a quick overview or insight into topics and opinions in the social web and handle inbound leads or inquiries.
Conserve new media: Digitally preserve and archive electronic records using up-to-date technology.
Manage contracts: Negotiate the terms, conditions, costs and other specifications of a contract while making sure they comply with legal requirements and are legally enforceable. Oversee the execution of the contract, agree on and document any changes.
Apply grammar and spelling rules: Apply the rules of spelling and grammar and ensure consistency throughout texts.
Supervise sales activities: Monitor and oversee the activities related to the ongoing sales in the shop to ensure that sales goals are met, assess areas for improvement, and identify or solve problems that customers could encounter.
Plan event marketing for promotional campaigns: Design and direct event marketing for promotional campaigns. This involves face-to-face contact between companies and customers at a wide range of events, which engages them in a participatory position and provides them with information about a specific product or service.

ISCO group and title

1349 – Professional services managers not elsewhere classified





  1. Book publisher – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022