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Ashley H.





How does one become a book editor?

I love to read, and I have always thought it would be interesting to be a book editor. What sort of background would one need to become one? How does one become an editor for things like scientific journals? Thank you!
#editor #college #books

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Hello, Ashley. Your opening sentence already carries part of the answer—you must LOVE reading. Books, magazines, online, ingredients on food packages . . . everything. Simply by repeated exposure (osmosis), you'll pick up attributes crucial to the editorial eye. While writing/editing classes and online courses can be useful in learning technical aspects (punctuation, grammar, usage and style, structure, etc.) there is no equal to reading. When you reach a level of confidence working with language, build a small (but potent) portfolio of editing you've done for others. I'd recommend joining well-known online platforms Guru (physical address in Pittsburgh, PA) and/or Upwork (Mountain View, CA). I'm a member of both, and have been for years (easily half of my annual income derives from these free-to-join venues, and this IS NOT a paid advertisement, but an endorsement. Both these platforms—like literary agents—will take fees from your jobs. Here you can start from scratch, earn money, cultivate clients needing book-editing, and strengthen your confidence. No telling where this may lead, and my career is proof of that: my portfolio as editor and writer got me hired onto New York City's iconic Library Journal magazine, Metaphysical Circus Press (associated with Virginia Commonwealth University), and JournalStone Publishing. Load your portfolio onto a flash-drive, and carry it with you for instant display. NEVER be caught without this—you can even wear it on a necklace. There's no predicting when—or where—you'll be asked, "So, what editorial work have you done?" This is far preferable to responding face-to-face: "Uhh . . . I'll send you samples after I get back home." Getting work from, or indeed joining the masthead, of science journals and other specialist publications can be pursued once you've evolved as an editor—learned your chops—over several years. Like healthcare professionals, there will always be a need and market for savvy editors. However you proceed, Ashley, may you enjoy success in your ventures!
Last updated Dec 16 '17 at 05:40 AM
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