This month’s issue of Publishing Trends features the results of their poll sent out to subscribers, and here are my two cents on the results.
The article begins (as did the survey) with our favorite after work drinks. It’s no secret that we like to imbibe. There is a strange dichotomy in publishing between socially awkward bookworms and fabulously glamorous literati, and alcohol helps does wonders to bridge this gap. Wine, beer, and water take the top three spots, although I was pleased to see that gin and tonic came in with 6.6% of the pie chart.
The next big question is how tech-savvy us book people really are. As an industry, we are sprinting to catch up with the digital age (books cannot help being antediluvian). As individuals, the situation is mildly better. Overall 36% of us engage in social networking of some kind, but we have yet to figure out how to harness Web 2.0 in business situations. 40% of us read blogs, but the Huffington Post and celebrity blogs take the top two spots. Even publishing people aren’t reading literary blogs. They must be on Team Tanenhaus.
For overall job satisfaction, we are doing pretty well. 45.5% of us never consider leaving the publishing industry, and 32% never consider leaving our current job. Oddly enough, sales people are the happiest and rights people consider leaving most often. Maybe it is all the traveling and exhibiting at book fairs that get rights people down.
When asked what job you aspire to, 49.2% said they were “just happy being me” and only 2.9% want to be a CEO. Unmotivated to climb the corporate ladder? You bet. If we were motivated by corporate culture, we would work somewhere that paid us more. 73.6% of respondents between the ages of 21 and 35 reported earning “less” or “much less” than their non-publishing peers. Compensation was the top-rated worst aspect of the industry, followed closely by instability of the market. We love our jobs and are willing to risk being poor and/or get laid off to stay.
Un-shockingly, we love to read fiction. 46.6% of us said that last thing we read for pleasure was fiction, followed not so closely by nonfiction at 20.1%. A few of us seem a little bitter that we have to read so much for work because 3.4% answered with “Reading? For Pleasure?” and another 1.3% of respondents answered “subway ad.”
To be completely honest, the only unexpected result of this survey was that sales people are so happy. Everything else is typical of publishing. We talk about this stuff all the time anyway while drinking wine and beer (and water?!) after work, but now we have concrete results to print on paper and sell to each other.