The world of publishing is vast and varied. From writing, editing, and uploading, many different skills are required in the industry. 

However, there are a lot of perks involved, too. Depending on your role, you can work from home, in your favorite coffee shop, or under whatever hours suit you. 

Although, that doesn’t mean the job is an easy one. In fact, to be successful in this career, you’re going to need various transferable skills. 

With this in mind, in this article, we have outlined the top 10 skills needed in the publishing world to have a successful career. 

Let’s get straight into it! 

1. Literacy Skills

One of the most obvious, albeit important, skills required in publishing is, of course, writing skills. Here, you’ll want to write, and keep writing to improve your skill. 

One mistake people make early on in their writing careers is not writing enough. Without constantly writing, you’re never going to improve and get over hurdles and bumps in the road.

No one can teach you how to become a successful writer if you don’t write yourself. In this publishing world, and other writing careers, practice does, in fact, make perfect. 

2. Interior Design Skills

No, you don’t need to know how to design a living room, but knowing how to make a book interior eye-catching and easy to read is key for publishing. 

Depending on the platform you intend to publish your books, there are different design requirements. For instance, Kindle Direct Book Publishing (KDP) has its own set of rules as guidelines compared to the Smashwords platform. 

For instance, ensure you’re using the right format when publishing. With KDP, you can simply upload your book using whatever Word format and they will transform it into a Kindle eBook format. However, others, such as Smashwords, don’t accept most Word documents.

In addition, your book’s interior design should relate to the book’s genre, too. Knowing the ins and outs of a book will help you create a beautiful book interior.

3. Editing Skills

Another, somewhat obvious, skill required in publishing is editing skills. While this can sound extremely technical, more times than not, you’re making edits as you type – whether this is for publication or fun. 

As you type, check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. Even if you hire a professional editorial team, going through the editing process yourself is important. 

Not only will this help to improve your editing skills but will also make you a more proficient publisher in the long run. 

4. Digital Skills

These days everything is done online. Long gone are the days when you would use a pen and paper to write a book. 

While you can still use the traditional tools, your work should be uploaded on a computer word processor once completed. 

This skill could be considered one of the most important skills needed in the world of publishing. However, you can still be a successful writer without being able to use a computer. 

Nonetheless, you should always aim to stay up to date with the latest technological advancements, and knowing how to use a computer is one of them. 

The computer is one of the best multi-purpose tools created in human history. Although, the process of learning to use one was missed out by many.

As a publisher, writer, or anything in-between, using a computer is necessary for more than just typing and editing. Time and practice are required to make the most out of the device. 

For instance, you’re going to need to learn, and possibly re-learn, all the publishing basics, but on digital terms. This includes editing, typing, interior designing, formatting, and uploading.

5. Cover Design Skills

10 Skills You Need In The Publishing World

While the saying may go: never judge a book by its cover. It’s safe to say that first impressions count, so if something looks appealing to you, you’re more likely to purchase it. 

This is where cover design skills come into play. Again, this can be achieved using platforms such as Canva, KDP’s Online Cover Creator, BookBrush, and many more!

Like most things, practice is key here. Although, if you find yourself struggling over time, there are professional cover designers which can help you – so you can focus on other areas of publishing. 

While not everyone is going to have editing and designing skills readily available, you’ll never know until you test out these skills for yourself. 

The publishing world doesn’t require you to learn all these skills yourself, however, you should at least give them a try.

Many self-published authors are performing these skills all by themselves and the results are remarkable – selling thousands of copies of books each year or even month!

6. Mailing List Skills

Any successful book will come with a mailing list feature. What this means is that you’ll need to create a book or reader magnet that readers will exchange for their email addresses. 

With these email addresses, you can now send out relevant content and news for your marketing goals. 

If your audience loves a particular book, then they will subscribe to your mailing list to know when the next one is released and then, hopefully, purchase it. 

Plus, you can also share a newsletter with those in that reach, allowing you to grow your mailing list even more. This is a great method to attract authentic readers who may even provide you with feedback. 

7. Web Design Skills

In the world of publishing, having a website where people can find your work is one of the best digital marketing practices these days. 

Whether you decide to design a website yourself or hire a professional to create one for you, a running website is important. 

Although, why hire someone when you can make one yourself for free? As creators, we generally love to get things done ourselves – and having the creative freedom to design your website to match your requirements perfectly provides you with a sense of achievement.  

Not only are you learning a new skill to add to your collection, but it can be used across different channels – who knows when you might need to use your web design skills?

8. SMM Skills

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is another marketing method used throughout the world of digital marketing. When successful, it can be used to market your books, websites, and other products and services you require. 

In publishing, you will likely have your fair share of book marketing, this is where this skill can come in handy. 

9. SEO Skills

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing method used by content creators, web designers, and, of course, marketers to ensure their websites can be found across major search engines including Yahoo, Bing, and Google. 

If you love learning new skills, then get your hands dirty by developing your website for SEO success. Many free and paid tools can help you set up your website for SEO success, this includes Yoast SEO. 

10. Communication Skills

The last, but by no means the least important, skill on this list that is necessary in the world of publishing is communication skills. 

Ask any successful marketer and they will tell you that communication is the backbone of all types of marketing. It is not only necessary for sharing your message but communicating your messages through platforms to attract audiences. 

This is where communication skills are extremely important. Here, you’ll want to use persuasive language that will make people look at your books and decide then and there whether or not they want to purchase your product. 

While you can force anyone to buy your books, you can help to persuade them, and this is achieved through successful communication. 

Whether you’re using blog posts, email lists, newsletters, social media, or any other form of medium, communication is key. 

However, you don’t have to worry about this. There are many online tools and courses available to help you improve your communication skills. For instance, Google Digital Skills for Africa. 

Having said that, any skill you intend to develop and improve must be coming from you. This ensures that any messages you are relaying are spoken or types are truthful so you can connect with your audience. 

Here, you can communicate through a two-way process. Whereby you’re sharing content with your audience, but they are also leaving feedback and reviews, too. Communication is key to building strong relationships, even in the publishing world. 

Final Thoughts

Publishing is one of the most important roles in the world of books. Without it, nobody will be able to find your books and read them. 

However, to be successful in the world of publishing, you’re going to need a few skills, too. From editing, communication, and digitally creating, there are many skills at play here. 

Hopefully, this guide has informed you about the 10 kills needed in the publishing world. 

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