Thursday, August 30, 2007

Publishing Salaries

About a month ago, Publishers Weekly had their annual salary survey article. I always keep an eye out for this, in part because my annual review usually occurs shortly afterwards and I want to know if my raise measures up. Unfortunately, I never find their data to be all that informative for the purpose of comparison, as they only break out the data into broad categories, and who's to say how I should compare myself to an average or median for any given group. But it's still interesting to look at...
Here's a few tidbits from the article:

Selective Executive Salaries
Steve Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble: $2,835,744 total compensation
Sandy Cochran, President and CEO of Books-A-Million: $815,000 total compensation

Average Annual Raise
2002: 5.1%
2003: 4.9%
2004: 4.9%
2005: 5.3%
2006: 4.5%

Battle of the Sexes
Average salary for men: $99,442, average increase from last year 4.6%
Average salary for women: $63,747, average increase from last year 4.4%

Median salary at companies with annual sales over $500 million
Management: $146,500
Sales/Marketing: $80,000
Editorial: $54,500
Operations: $67,000
(salaries get lower as companies get smaller)

Average salary by experience
Less than 3 years:
Editorial: $30,100
Sales/Marketing: $34,000
Management: $62,500
Operations: $40,350

More than 10 years:
Editorial: $71,000
Sales/Marketing: $93,125
Management: $149,000
Operations: $65,000

Job satisfaction
Extremely satisfied: 13%
Very satisfied: 36%
Somewhat satisfied: 35%
Not too/at all satisfied: 16%

Why not satisfied
Low salary: 60%
Increased workloads: 45%
Lack of recognition: 40%
Management problems: 32%
Long hours: 23%

The wide disparity between male and female salaries surprised me, as publishing is an industry with a large proportion of women, but higher level executive positions still often skew towards men, I guess. The article also points out that all 93% of publishing employees are college graduates, and 25% have graduate degrees-- these salaries are quite low compared to other industries with as educated a workforce.
Anyway, this is my world. Within this world, I am someone with about 15 years of experience who will just barely squeak past $100,000 for the first time at the end of this year. I like what I do. I do wish I was paid more for it, but when I compare stories with some friends who work in higher-paying sectors of the business world, I think my job probably wins in terms of quality of life factors. But 30 years from now when we're all retired, I suspect my higher-paid friends will have a better long-term quality of life... but I'll at least have an awesome library.


English Major said...

Well, I guess I should be psyched that one year in, I make more than the average less-than-three-years'-experience salary. And yet...I still want a raise.

Actually, would you mind if I emailed you to ask a couple of publishing questions?

PiggyBankBlues said...

Thanks for the post, I love when PW does their annual who-sold-what lists as well.

Ten years 'til you make a decent living? Egads. At least everyone is banking more than the average advance for a novelist. There'd be nobody left in the industry...

Single Ma said...

The salaries of men vs. women always interest me. I would love to read a study/report from someone who follows the lives of a male and female college graduate in the same career field for 20+ years. It would be interesting to note the 'specific' differences that cause the disparity. Stats and averages are so misleading.

BTW, when you said you had about 15 years experience, I was thinking "dang, I didn't know she was that old!" Then I realized - we're about the same age, I just started late. Oops. So I guess I'm old too. LOL

Anonymous said...

Your raises are actually good. I have been in banking for 10 years, and the industry averages around 3-3.5% annually. And, as a regular reader, I know you get some nice bonuses (more than most people I know in the high five figure range).

Mariette said...

To put this all in perspective, in addition to earning less than our male counterparts for the same job, 2 our of 3 working women make less than $30,000 year. I had a recent post on this topic at

Creative_Clan said...

I also admirer your blog maybe we can have link exchange!Thanks..

Anonymous said...

when you say "management" ...what do you mean? managing editorial? production? subrights? sorry im lost!

Madame X said...

I'm not really sure exactly how they defined management for the survey, but I assume it includes people on the financial side of the business, VPs, upper management such as a "publisher", CFO, COO, CEO, etc