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The Publishers Association

About Us

The Publishers Association represents the interests of UK publishers across consumer, education and academic publishing. Our members publish academic journals, textbooks for higher, secondary and primary education, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and learning resources.

As a whole, the industry contributes over £5.1 billion to the to the UK economy with digital revenues contributing 35% and export sales accounting for 57%.

Our objective as an association is to provide our members with the influence, insight and services necessary to compete and prosper.

Our mission is to strengthen the trading environment for UK publishers by providing a strong voice for the industry in government, in society and with other stakeholders in the UK, Europe and internationally. We provide a forum for the exchange of non‑competitive information between publishers and offer support and guidance to the industry through technological and other changes.

Please review the 2016 annual report for the detail on the areas of work undertaken by PA.

Areas of Focus

We aim to communicate the value of the publishing industry and its contribution to society and the economy on all levels, providing a voice for the publishing industry and using our influence to increase awareness of the industry and its attributes.

We provide a platform for the exchange of non-competitive information and seek to communicate key industry positions on matters of interest to the sector. We also play a role in communicating to members on matters of importance and interest.

Key issues of current concern for us are International Trade, Copyright, Libel, Freedom of Speech, Regulation of Online Social Networks, Tax and Data. 

More about The Publishers Association

Our Members



Diversity & Inclusion

In 2017, we launched the first industry-wide action plan to tackle inclusivity within the publishing workforce to ensure it better reflects the diversity of the UK population. We called on publishers to pledge their support to aim to employ at least 50% of women in senior leadership and executive level roles and to ensure that 15% of their employees are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds within the next five years.

To set these targets, we surveyed the industry’s workforce and found that women currently account for 49% of senior leadership roles but only make up 41% of executive board level. We also discovered that BAME employees only make up 13% of the publishing workforce.

Following these results, we set out a roadmap for inclusion, which includes a commitment to undertake this survey annually and a set of 10 action points:

  • Develop an inclusivity policy, which is embedded throughout the organisation and has strong leadership commitment.
  • Undertake an internal workforce audit and provide the PA with data on an annual basis for the publication of industrywide statistics.
  • Ensure all staff involved with recruitment attend unconscious bias training.
  • Nominate an inclusivity champion on your board or management committee who can monitor action on equality.
  • Provide opportunities for flexible or agile working.
  • Analyse job descriptions, recruitment strategies and interview practices for hidden biases.
  • Develop a mentoring scheme that supports staff from underrepresented groups who are new or at transitional career stages.
  • Ensure there is a balanced speaker panel for any events you are running or speaking on.
  • Consider hiring a Publishing Assistant apprentice or a Creative Access intern.
  • Become a Publishing Ambassadors and give a careers talk to a local school or university.

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