It can be competitive to break into the book industry. Publishing is very competitive, and editing jobs are well sought-after. It is my advice to seek out work opportunities as well as obtaining a college literature or creative writing degree. Here are some strategies that can be helpful in developing a career as an Editor.
If you're in college, one way to get started in the publishing industry is to seek out extra-curricular opportunities that center around media and editing. Getting involved in a literary project, a school newspaper, or the yearbook committee is a good way to start a career while on campus. Even getting involved in a department student group can help grow leadership skills, and it can sometimes include writing and editing opportunities.
If possible, another option is to see if there are any internships postings available at nearby offices. Publishing offices often have a variety of internship programs, and many of them are paid, if not partially-paid positions.
Any opportunities you can find where you're working with the written word is a great way to build your career—and your resume. Hiring managers will look through a lot of resumes, but seeing a young candidate with a lot of experience will make you stand out more, and it will also show your dedication. The editing profession is really driven on lots of hard work, and passion, so be willing to try lots of different jobs until you find what best suits you.
Another thing to consider is taking a certificate program in Publishing or Book Editing. There are a few programs out there worth exploring, and I recommend doing a search for the best option that would work for you. These classes are often taught by editing professionals working in the industry, and it can be a good way to meet the "right" people in your professional community, as well as learn valuable skills of the trade. Even just taking a single course can help you find out what you need to get your career through the door.
Here are a couple Publishing and Book Editing programs:
New York University: Summer Publishing Institute
University of Denver: Publishing Institute
And many are listed here:
I started out in marketing. Writing copy for brochures and sales materials, training documents, etc. As the tech industry exploded so did the need for good writers. Talk to people in tech companies. Many have a social media presence today. Many have international employees that need help in English. All have legal and policy departments, contracts, marketing, and probably some type of documentation needs. These will support you well. Corporate writers and editors can make $65k-$100k.
Short stories and blogs can be your hobby, writing for fun. Get an internship in any big tech company doing anything they will let you. Try marketing, training, product development, social media. They it out, look around from the inside.