Salary Survey Update 2023

We’ve issued a 2023 update to our previous award-winning Salary Survey, last conducted in 2021.

This takes into account the changes in the cost of living since the 2021 Salary Survey was undertaken.

We’ve also reflected on the previous surveys of 2017 and 2002, to see how salaries have faired over the past 21 years.

This report should be of concern to anyone in publishing involved in recruitment and retention. Giving a 2%-5% pay increase on top of a salary which is already perceived as low, when the current rate of inflation is so high, should be a matter of concern for everyone.

Low salaries impact on the quality of life of employees as well as affect diversity and inclusion. The book publishing industry knows it needs to attract candidates from all walks of life, including those from lower socio-economic background, yet fails to address the fact that people work to live, not live to work.

Editorial Assistants and other Assistant level salaries are below market value. In 2021, an Editorial Assistant was being paid on average £23,385. At the time, this was perceived as being low, and if you had received inflation related pay rises between 2017 and 2021, this would have been £26,687 in 2021 and c£30,000 in today’s market.

 Yet we are seeing Editorial Assistant roles currently advertised at c£25,000 or lower and some of the big publishers patting themselves on the back, for raising the average entry level salary to £27,500. This still not enough.

There are also serious questions to be asked about salaries above entry level, as these are devaluing at the highest rate, and resulting in an exodus from the book publishing industry.  42.3% of 80 respondents in a recent survey said that publishing was not an attractive workplace for the generation of tomorrow. Only 9% said yes, it was an attractive workplace.

Editors and Commissioning Editors, part of the lifeblood of the whole publishing process, have seen their salaries on average only increase by £8,930 in 21 years, to an average of £33,483 and £8,652 to £28,729. Whilst current pay reviews might be in the region of 5%, this is hardly touching the issues of an already devalued salary.

[Whilst we use Editorial as an example, similar outcomes are seen across the board, in all job functions.]

The 2023 Salary Survey Update is available to purchase either as a standalone or with a copy of the award-winning full 2021 Salary Survey

This salary research takes up a lot of time and resources to produce. We are currently running this survey without a sponsor and have borne all costs ourselves. Yes, we do sell full reports, but if you wanted to buy us a Kofi, the link is:

The results of previous surveys can be found here:- Salary Survey 2021 Salary Survey 2017

Our next Salary Survey is scheduled for 2025. 

For Press Enquiries, Salary Benchmarking or for permission requests, please contact us.


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