Want a Raise? Try Custom Publishing

By Steve Smith

While layoffs, pay cuts and salary freezes are the norm this year within most media segments, one area of publishing offers a glimmer of positive news. According to a survey from the Custom Publishing Council and ContentWise, average salaries among custom publishing professionals increased 4.77% in 2009 to $63,136. Editors and writers may not want to quit whatever day jobs they still have, however, because even these generally upbeat results are mixed. Among the three categories covered in the survey, average compensation for communications professionals rose 12%, while designers saw a 9.6% hike. Editorial positions, however, registered a 1.8% decline. Average compensation across all three categories for 2009 is $63,163. In 2000, the average was $48,484.

And while custom publishing remains attractive for many brands even in tough times, overall staffing has declined. The average organization assigns 2.78 people to these projects this year, down from 3.27 last year. The recession has also had an effect on the gap between large and small companies in the segment, with organizations capitalized at over $1 billion paying salaries that are 25% higher than smaller businesses. In 2006, large and small companies paid at about the same scale, the CPC reports.