Job type

Publishing rights manager

£18k - £55k

Typical salary

37 – 42

Hours per week

Rights managers in publishing look after the sale and management of publishing rights for books and other materials.

More info

  • Manage the sale of the right to publish books and other materials
  • You'll need excellent literary knowledge and good negotiation skills
  • The publishing industry is highly competitive to get into, so you'll need determination and a passion for publishing to succeed

As a rights manager in the publishing industry you'll oversee the sale and management of publishing rights for books and other materials. Publishers who own the rights to publish a particular book may also negotiate to offer the rights to other organisations to publish sections, versions, or translations of the publication, and it's this work that the rights manager oversees.


  • Maximise the profit from a particular publication by selling it in as many territories and formats as is appropriate
  • Liaise with other publishers around the world
  • Negotiate the price and conditions from them to gain the right to publish


You might work for an agency or a publishing house, and you'll need to build up a good network of contacts to become successful. You may need to travel to negotiate sales and to attend book fairs in the UK and overseas.

You'll need

Most entrants to the publishing industry are graduates, but there are other options opening up as the industry is keen to improve diversity in terms of the workforce. You may be able to find apprenticeships, internships, and work experience opportunities specifically targeted at non-graduates and underrepresented groups.

Most people who start out in publishing will start in a junior role then specialise in a particular area, and rights management would suit someone with tenacity, excellent business skills, negotiating ability, and attention to detail.

It can be an advantage to have language skills when looking for work in this area as negotiating rights for translations of books may require you to deal with people from a wide range of countries.


With experience, you could progress to become a rights director.

It can take time to develop your career, and you may have to move companies in order to get promoted.

You could also become freelance, working on behalf of a publishing firm, or become an agent for an author.