You might have seen this article over the Christmas holidays – https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8433024.stm that the CIPD predict more redundancies, with unemployment reaching a peak in the summer.
I feel like the ‘purveyor of doom’ when I state I have been saying this for ages. I believe that between now and May we will see more redundancies across publishing. Part of it will be the changes in job functions and rationalisation as the publishing process continues to modernise and change. Whilst some of this will have been dependent on contract sign ups post-Frankfurt (deals being confirmed or falling through), the Borders factor and Christmas sales. For a number of publishers, it isn’t until a customer requests to return unsold stock, that they can truly evaluate whether their books worked. I recall a frightening year when one major customer returned 3000 books in the same cartons they were shipped in; they never even made it on to the shop floor.
However new jobs will be created, mainly within digital content, text (editorial), media and marketing departments. To ensure that you survive your career in publishing you need to be as up to date as possible with your training, technical knowledge and most importantly, you need to open your eyes to the world outside of publishing, especially at the influence of social media. Currently those outside of the industry who have digital or social marketing experience may stand a better chance at getting a job than you, because their industry or company works in the cut and thrust of developments. Don’t let yourself lose out. Make sure that you are in tune with what is happening – your reading matter needs to be far greater than your employer’s press releases or The Bookseller.