(reading person on a boat from the State Library of Queensland; why this boat appears to be full of water is really anyone’s guess.)
When you’re considering your lifetime career, publishing is something that comes up pretty frequently to the tune of the logic, ‘you get to read all the time!’
It’s true that there’s tends to be more reading involved in publishing than in, say, household appliance repair. We all have offices full of books! We are encouraged to read books in our lives!
But: since I have arrived at the office this morning, I have not read one single book. Not even half a book. Or even a quarter.
Instead, I have: reviewed cover concepts; worked with our designer on upcoming sales materials; pitched media; mailed an upcoming book to the trade magazines; organized author events; worked with our designer on promotional materials for upcoming fall titles; put together a presentation for a talk I’m doing tomorrow; edited presentation materials for an upcoming talk with our sales department; helped plan a party; talked about our books on Facebook and Twitter; updated our website; processed a contract; booked an author’s flight for an event; started planning what we’re doing at San Diego Comic-Con this year; reviewed our current catalog layout; mailed some review copies.
All of these things are things that I genuinely enjoy (well, maybe mailing a little less genuinely), and all of them are 100% book related. But there is no day on my calendar where I come into work at 9am and sit down with a pile of novels (or manuscripts) and a cup of tea and read until I go home in the evening.
If you’re looking for a job that involves daily book consumption, book reviewer might be the way to go instead of book publisher.