Learning Resource Centre (Library) @ Kendriya Vidyalaya, Madurai


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Education in India : Publishing

Looking for a Career Option in the Field of Publishing ? This section features Publishing as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.

One would think that with the advent of the techno-age, the publishing industry would go completely out of business. To the collective relief of thousands of publishers and zillions of print-lovers, this is one dire prophecy that doesn’t seem to be proving true. The publishing industry, along with an inherent love of the printed word, seems to be thriving. It’s still not time to write it off as another ‘has been’! The word publishing denotes a huge amount of publishing work that includes the printing and publishing of books, newspapers, magazines, periodicals and journals. The basic requirements in terms of knowledge and experience remain the same in all these cases.

Jobs in this sector can be roughly categorised under three heads – editorial, production and marketing. Of course, there are people, mostly in the upper echelons of the industry, who can claim to be equally good at all three. And then then there are those like Vikram Seth, and more recently, David Davidar, the dynamic editor of Penguin, who make the shift from editing and publishing to writing with what seems like convenient ease.

Personality Traits    

Editorial work is handled by professionals who have a background in the subject involved in being published. A teaching background is useful for educational publishing and a degree in science, medicine, law or another speciality for a post with publisher covering these fields. For fiction, a background in literature generally helps and is looked for by publishing houses.

Publishing is simply bursting with opportunities for those with an inborn love of books. Those who want to begin at the sub-editor level need to be equipped with basic editorial skills, and loads of patience as you might be required to read through reams of manuscripts. If the smell of fresh newsprint makes you look forward to a bright day, and you simply love the musty smell of old books, have an eye for details and for out-of-place words and punctuation, you could have a career in publishing!


Courses in Publishing are very few as most publishers prefer to train their own staff to suit their requirements.

  1. After XII (any subject), graduation/postgraduation in journalism are suitable for shouldering editorial responsibility. Computing skills are required for word processing.
  2. Graduates of Art/ graphic designers/commercial art/photography/ calligraphy can join the art department.
  3. Class XII (PCM) followed by a diploma in printing technology can join the production department

Those looking for a career in publishing and with the required qualifications could find a job in Private publishing houses or in the publication department of any organisation that undertakes its own publishing. Some central and state government agencies such as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting , and of Education and Culture, also have their own publication divisions.

There are other government organisations involved in publishing educational and cultural publications – these include the Sahitya Akademi, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Indian Council of Social Science Research. One could also work in publishing houses of organisations that are subsidized or run by public trust funds are the National Book Trust, NCERT and the Children’s Book Trust. Some major universities have also set up publishing departments that bring out academic works as do private educational and charitable institutions, as well as cultural and religious trusts.

Publishing courses :

  1. B.A with Book Publishing
  2. Course for Publishing Professionals Course Content
  3. Course In Book Publishing-Course: NBT Training Course in Book Publishing

In book publishing, entry in the editorial section is generally at the sub-editorial level, or as trainee sub-editor or junior sub. The hierarchy thereafter is as follows: Assistant Sub Editor, Sub Editor, Assistant Editor, Associate Editor, and Editor.


Please click here for the list of the Publishing Institutes in India.

Placements And Prospects    


  1. Editorial Jobs:Appointing and working with an editorial team The editorial director guides the team of editors and oversees the complete running of the publishing house Editors are responsible for locating, identifying the value of publishing books falling within their specific areas They select and contact authors for writing books on select topics They oversee the work from the perparation of outline to the final production of the book

    In small book publishing businesses, the task of an editor may involve overseeing the production as well as marketing of the books Publishing begins with the processing of the manuscript This is followed by the reading of the proof by the author, proof reader and editor, for checking the content, sequence, spellings and grammatical errors The final laser prints of the book are made and the book goes for production The editor directs the policy of the publication, manages the staff and coordinates all the work The work of sub-editors on newspapers and magazines is similar to copy-editors in book publishing.

  2. Production:Editing is carried out on the computer and the typeface and page layout adjusted The illustrations, appearance of the book, book cover, paper quality is decided by the editor as well as the production incharge The design department does the art work for the book. A number of publishing houses work with freelance artists on their roles who are commissioned for artwork, such as illustration, cover design, photographs etc

    Transparencies are prepared from the laser prints from which the frames for printing are prepared Production staff manage the technicalities of the printing process as well as the pricing and marketing of the product They purchase the paper, coordinate the printing and binding of the books In the newspaper and magazine segment the production department deals with purchase of newsprint as well as the printing and despatch of the newspapers/magazines to the marketing department.

  3. Sales And Marketing:Publicity, promotion, sales campaigns is the major responsibility Distribution of books entails understanding the market where the books may sell. Generally large distributors operate through a network of regional offices Sales outlets, bookshops are visited by sales representatives who have the responsibility of giving information of all forthcoming books as well as taking orders and ensuring supply. Distribution to libraries, schools, organisations is often done directly or through local book suppliers. The on-line book sales is perhaps the latest technique in marketing and sales.

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