What are the difficulties in becoming/being a book editor?
I'm interested in being a book editor. I know that every career has its challenges, but because I don't have many book editors to talk to, I don't know what challenges book editors have. What difficulties happen in the job search and job itself? Thank you! #july20 #book-editor #book-editing #writing #creative-writing
I worked primarily on textbooks and professional books. The role was close to a project management role. I received the book in text document form and then hired and project managed all of the freelancers and vendors who did copyediting, proofreading, indexing, art rendering, cover design, and finally printing. I worked closely with the authors who reviewed the progress at each of those stages. It was satisfying to receive the finished book at end!
This role was relatively low paying, and I didn't have a lot of growth potential. After I left the field to move into technology, my office in San Francisco was closed down and the roles were transferred to Iowa. There were a lot of industry changes to reduce costs like this including more of my work with vendors and freelancers being with people and companies in other countries. These changes made the field less compelling for me.
Please note that this is not a high-paying industry unless you're in a leadership role, and nowadays, most editing jobs are either outsourced (freelance) or contracted.
I worked in non-fiction (educational books for professional development), and in my experience, authors welcome edits because they're NOT writers... they're industry leaders!
One thing I've found, even in my personal life, is that most people don't feel comfortable writing--it can be a vulnerable experience. With that said, if revising/editing for friends and family, always look for the positive first and do the nitpicking later.
Bruce recommends the following next steps:
For fiction the best way to get started is by attending a writer’s conference and being a speaker. But you’d better be really good or you’ll lose clients quickly.
Also join writers groups online. Volunteer to edit other’s stuff. The more you do the better you’ll be. Plus, you never know when one of those writers might self publish and need an editor.