Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Publisher gloom

It's hard to view the publishing industry very cheerfully after reading Publisher Weekly's annual salary survey. While some results are understandable (employee job security has dipped in the last year, unsurprisingly), others are not. Take, for instance, this: the average pay for men is higher than that of women by $30,000 (the stats are all for the U.S. only). Trying to find an excuse is proving difficult in this case. So the number is perhaps down from previous years... but that's still big. Or perhaps take a look at "Number of Employees Receiving Bonuses" table:

Percentage Median Bonus
Editorial 34% $2,500
Sales/Marketing 45% $6,000
Management 43% $15,000
Operations 39% $2,750
Why such a gap between editorial and sales? Sales almost always end up with significantly higher salaries (with the exception of the south, where they're equal). Half (50%!) of employees are unsatisfied with their job and 53% complain that their salaries are too low. Another point of interest is the "greening" of the publishing industry. The stats are intriguing if a little disappointing. Why are only 52% of companies printing on recycled paper as opposed to, say, 70%? It's not as if the quality is any worse (particularly when some companies insist on using rough, poor quality paper).

The entire article is fascinating and though I don't fully understand all of the various charts, there's a lot to mull over. For instance, though I'm mostly pointing out the disappointing aspects of the survey, the fact that fewer employees plan on quitting in the next two years is very interesting (and positive). Still, pay is down and employees are nervous. And the gap between men and women should not be so wide. There's still a way to go.


  1. A $30,000 difference between the salaries of men and women in publishing? That's really messed up. I know we still don't have pay equity laws, but this is horrible!

  2. It really can't be a great industry to work in these days. I am just very pleased there are still so many apparently flourishing independents around - but I am sure these are a labour of love rather than a money-spinner!

  3. I found these stats very interesting. Great info; thanks


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