UK books retailer WH Smith failed to pay the minimum wage to employees, the BBC reports. Of the more than 200 companies that the government said underpaid employees, WH Smith owed the most to workers–more than £1 million to more than 17,600 employees. The chain told the BBC that the mistake was due to misunderstanding the UK’s rules about uniforms and not reimbursing staff for required clothes that they purchased out of pocket. “Following a review with HMRC in 2019, and in common with a number of retailers, it was brought to our attention that we had misinterpreted how the […]
Further to our reporting last fall on compensation for book critics and rates at various outlets, book critics Adam Morgan and Chelsea Leu have compiled an extensive list of publications that pay for books coverage. At the National Book Critics Circle site, their list includes contact information, word count, and more.
Our reporting on compensation in different segments of the publishing industry continues with independent bookstores, where low pay seems like a foregone conclusion. Though indies have grown and diversified in recent years, sustaining workers—and in some cases, the stores themselves—is an ongoing challenge. Some stores, such as Tattered Cover in Denver and Powell’s in Portland, OR, are essentially corporations or mini-chains with multiple locations and HR departments, while others, such as Astoria Bookshop in Queens, have one storefront and fewer than 10 employees, including the owner. The growing unionization of individual bookstores around the country has helped secure pay and […]
While it’s a common refrain that publishing is not a lucrative industry for workers, it is especially true for bookstore workers. Booksellers can make or break a book’s success, are knowledgeable about hundreds of individual products and the industry as a whole, and are a vital part of the publishing ecosystem. But they are often paid minimum wage or not much above, and even experienced booksellers often earn less than what entry-level colleagues in publishing offices make. There seems to be a disconnect between the career and the compensation—booksellers are paid like an hourly gig in what is, for many, […]
On Wednesday, Macmillan announced that they will increase their entry-level base salary to $47,500, effective April 1. That brings them in line with Hachette Book Group, which announced a similar increase a week ago. Macmillan has been paying a starting salary of $42,000. Macmillan noted, “Additional adjustments will be made to current salary bands to reflect this change.”
In yesterday’s open letter addressing negotiations with the union, Harper Collins ceo Brian Murray wrote that, “Based on publicly available information, HarperCollins’s proposed compensation increases would provide for a higher starting salary than any other major New York publisher.” The dollar amount of Harper’s proposal was not disclosed; the union has said it is asking to increase the base salary from $45,000 to $50,000. To expand on the publicly available information, Simon & Schuster’s starting salary for New York City employees is $50,000, which the company confirmed to PL. (Our understanding is that S&S pays based on a 40-hour workweek. […]