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How can I get experience in the publication field?

I want to become a book editor, but I live in a place that doesn't have much opportunity to break into that career. #bookworm #opportunities #workexperience


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Jasmine’s Answer

Hello! There are several important steps and things to keep in mind if you want to become a book editor (but are geographically limited). Many companies are switching to using freelance or in-house editors, so you could look for positions on websites like LinkedIn and job sites that allow you to work remotely. Having a LinkedIn profile that highlights your passion for editing will help recruiters find you even as you are looking for them. Depending on where you are in your education (high school, considering college, graduating from college), consider what you are most interested in studying or what skills you want develop to be a competitive, unique professional.


Your first job in the field might not be actually editing. Be open to any position that will get you in the door and help you learn about the industry. Even being an administrative assistant will help you learn names, faces, and how everyone interacts. These are important things to know!


Here are a couple articles that might be helpful:

  • https://thesyp.org.uk/how-do-i-get-a-job-in-publishing/
  • https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2016/feb/15/by-the-book-six-ways-to-break-into-publishing

Jasmine recommends the following next steps:

Create a LinkedIn profile (or review it and make sure it shows your passion for editing)
Explore online job postings to see what editing work is available remotely

Keep in mind...you really can’t get a book editing job as a freelancer or remote employing without years of experience on-site. A lot of this advice is good for publishing broadly, but books is very niche. Nadina P

When looking for jobs in linked-in/indeed: There are volunteer jobs and internships that you can do online, from home (remote work) and you may even filter your job search to Entry Level or Internship. This can help you get experience and practice whenever you want (: Make connections! Sometimes reaching out to professionals can be a little scary but more often than not there are many professionals willing to help and give you advice! Just reach out, be kind, and sincerely ask for a moment of their time- ask about what kind of editing they do, what they like about it, and don't like about it. This way, you can also start to develop your niche, and select what you want to specifically write in (entertainment, e-sports, games, anime...etc.) Best of luck Kimberly! (: Paulina Camacho Calderon

Thank you! In the same predicament as the asker; this was really helpful! :) Would you say that the same or similar criteria applies to copywriters, as well? Olivia Moore

Great response! Gabrielle Fisher, MBA

That’s a great piece of advice Jasmine Chinwuba Anthony

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Nadina’s Answer

Hi Kimberly,


I've been a book editor for 9 years, and I was in a similar position to you when I was in high school. I signed up for anything writing related. It's great that you're pursuing some work for a blog, but I would also consider a school newspaper or volunteer opportunities.


Book editors generally have college degrees, so if moving away for college is an option for you, I strongly urge you to do so. New York City is hands down the best place to go for this, as that's where almost all of book publishing happens. There's a very healthy magazine and newspaper publishing presence here as well. If it's possible for you to work your way into an internship in the Big Apple, you absolutely should do that. It's very difficult to land a book publishing job otherwise, if that's what interests you, and other types of publishers like to see a New York City gig as well.


Many universities have publishing programs; expensive ones include NYU, Columbia, and Yale. However, don't be dismayed; Hofstra University in Long Island has an excellent one, and they're close enough to New York City that you can still gain valuable internship experience while you study. And if none of these options are possible for you, do not despair; many of my colleagues entered the field through other colleges, studying English, marketing, and other valuable disciplines. It means you might have to work a little harder to get noticed, but it can be done.


If you are at a school that has a writing center or have the option of studying somewhere that does, the best piece of advice I can give you is to get a job there. Not only will you be paid for such work, you will really stand out when you're looking for internships. A writing center is a phenomenal place to learn how to work with writers. If you can't work in a writing center, look for volunteer work that's similar. I volunteered with a local homeless shelter and another domestic violence shelter to help the people there write resumes and cover letters. If there is a cause of this nature that is important to you, bring your greatest skills to the table to make a difference. Every little bit counts.


The final thing you can do--and possibly the easiest--is to spearhead your own work. Do you know how to use WordPress? If not, are you willing to learn? The world has really changed, most especially in publishing. If you want a future in this industry, you have to show that you are willing to change with it. Many publishers really value these technical skills.


But don't stop there: use your WordPress site to write and showcase your work. Use Medium to do the same thing. Write about anything. Showcase anything you do--create links to your work from other sources; if you do end up working on that blog, that's a great example of something that should go on your personal page. Build a strong portfolio of the work you can be proud of to demonstrate how motivated and talented you are, and you will definitely catch someone's eye.


And finally, don't be afraid to build a network! I'm personally always happy to give advice or lend a hand where it's needed. The fact that you've already reached out to this community is an excellent start.

Nadina recommends the following next steps:

Look at school newspapers
Consider volunteer opportunities
Try working in a writing center
Set up your own blog or medium account
Build a network

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Sarah’s Answer

Hi, Kimberly - My answer is based on my five years of experience as a freelance writer and editor. Being freelance means I don't work for a company. I work with lots of different individual clients. While I have never been a full-time book editor, I have helped some of my clients edit their books.


If you want to become an editor, the most important thing to do now is simply to read a lot and write a lot yourself. Put a lot of energy into your English classes. Get involved in an extracurricular activities (like student publications) that give you opportunities to write or edit. If you have friends who write Wattpad stories, volunteer to edit their stories for them.


I'm betting there are more publications businesses in your area than you realize. For example, is there an academic press? Is there a business that helps self-published authors? These could be great places to intern. You would probably not be editing as part of these internships. But you will learn about an editor's job and form professional relationships with people who can open doors to future opportunities.



Sarah recommends the following next steps:

Read lots of different kinds of books and other publications. As you read, think about what you like about that book, article, etc., and what you don't like. How would you advise the author to make it better?
Join the staff of student publications at your school.
Excel in your English classes.
Research whether there are publishing -related businesses in your community — for example, academic presses or businesses that help self-published authors. These could be great places to intern.
Search LinkedIn for profiles of people who have jobs like the one you want in the future. What kind of skills and experience do they have?

Sarah I found your comment very very helpful. I applied for a blogger through my school and they say they will find something for meet. But it has been a couple of weeks since I've heard from them. What can I do for this one? I've read several different kind of books and articals. I live in a small town and there is no publishers academic press here in my town and I will look through LinkedIn for some jobs. Annalisa G.

Hi, Annalisa - Good for you for seeking out blogging opportunities at your school. Since you haven't heard back from anyone, it's perfectly fine to follow up and see what's going on. Keep reading books and articles as you have been. Take electives that will help you build writing skills. See if any of the clubs or organizations at your school need help with writing and communications. Keep reading different kinds of books and publications. Sarah Beckham

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Martha’s Answer

I can only add a little to Jasmine's excellent advice. Do consider any position in publishing to get your foot in the door. If there are not very many opportunities in your area, you can always try online possibilities. However, to get experience consider volunteer opportunities in your area and, if you are still in school, be sure to look for opportunities to gain experience with newsletters, yearbooks, literary magazines, etc. You might also look into the website Goodreads.com. Many promising authors are looking for Beta readers. You would be able to choose the genre of books you are interested in and gain experience that way.

I'd also suggest since you love to read that you consider writing book reviews of books you've read for online sites and possibly a local newspaper. Study book reviews in magazines and newspapers to see how they are written and make notes while you are reading books to get started writing reviews.

I agree with Martha's advice to volunteer, anywhere you can. I have also found that many editors are also writers, so find opportunities to practice your writing skills. Jillian Reiten, CD

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Tim’s Answer

Kimberly, I have been in publishing for over 30 years, the last 20 as a book acquisition editor. I have worked my entire career in medical publishing, part of the publishing universe known as STM, short for scientific, medical and technical publishing. Some are adding scholarly to the mix today.

Let me first encourage you in your pursuit. I have loved almost every day of my career.

My first piece of advice, be a great communicator. Can you write a good email? Can you call someone on the phone and have an intelligent conversation? That one is critical, all communication can't be via email and text. Are you comfortable speaking with people one on one? Publishing is a people business. All the technical skills in the world won't help you, if you can't communicate well.

My major in college was journalism, and I think it was the perfect preparation for a career in publishing. You learn to write, you learn to ask questions, and you learn to be curious.

Do not put yourself in a box when it comes to editing or publishing. One place I saw numbers said over 2.2 million books are published around the world each year, over 300,000 in the USA. Yes, a lot of publishing happens in NY, but a lot more happens in the other 49 states. Your profile says you are in Salt Lake City, so is the University of Utah Press. Check out the wed site and find positions that interest you. Email or call the person and ask for an informational phone interview. My bet is they will jump at the chance to speak with you. See if they have an internship program. When I Googled book publishers in Salt Lake City, 30 publishers returned. Maybe a few of them publish books on topics you are really passionate about. Do not limit yourself right now to just books. There is another universe of journals that is worth learning about.

A great first position is editorial assistant. Marketing assistant is a good option as well. Sales is also a good option. Do not kid yourself, publishing is a business, and it requires sales to pay the editors and everyone else in the industry. You should be as much an expert in Excel as you are in Word.

A little bit about what I do. As an acquisition editor, I am responsible for all the content my publisher produces in a given specialty. Content includes books, but more and more electronic content and delivery are part of the mix. I identified topics I wanted to publish books on, and I went out and found authors to write them. I also responded to authors who approached me about a topic they were interested in. The most important thing I think I did was help get projects started in the right direction. I negotiated agreements to publish content. I supervised the development of the books as they went through the editorial development process. I celebrated with everyone involved when a new book published. I have been responsible for publishing over 350 books in my career. I have never copy edited one. I have proof read a few chapters in a pinch. I rarely read the books. Most were on how to perform surgery. I have no expertise on the topic. I do work with some of the most amazing authors in the world. I help produce amazing content. I had no idea that medical publishing existed when I graduated college and started my job hunt. It just kind of happened. I was open to it and grateful I was. I have never dealt with an agent.

I have worked perhaps half my career from home. Do not let geography limit you. Publishing is very friendly to remote work.

My hobby is woodworking. One of the biggest woodworking publishers is located in Litiz, Pennsylvania, population 9,458. Who knew? Publishing happens everywhere.

Books and publishing is am amazing business that I am so happy to have made my career in. I hope you may have a long and wonderful career in it as well.

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Mark’s Answer

Kimberly,

Develop good technical skills: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, web coding - you can find classes online or in your community. Writing/editing skills, software skills, and a can-do attitude will improve your chances at finding work in publishing.


Use some of the online tools available to create a publication - zine, blog, website, book. Share your work in an online portfolio. Find work that inspires you online or in your community. Reach out to those people and organizations that inspire you. It takes time. You'll be ignored. Don't lose hope. Work is out there.


Here's a link to the 6-week Columbia Publishing Workshop: https://journalism.columbia.edu/columbia-publishing-course. This type of training gives you skills but also provides contacts within the industry. Networking and building relationships will help you move forward in the industry.

Mark recommends the following next steps:

Identify and create a portfolio of publishers, illustrators, writers, graphic designers, artists, videographers, podcasters who create work that inspires you.
Create a portfolio of creative work to show your abilities and interests. Use your work to start conversations and to apply for internships or entry-level jobs. Here are some tips: https://www.clippings.me/writing-portfolio-how-to
Ask for help. Share your interests with others. Don't give up!

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Jillian’s Answer

The best way to gain experience in publishing is to be open to all different types of work and to embrace short term goals rather than long term goals, which will force you to focus on utility rather than getting bogged down mentally with the process of entering into the book publishing industry. Make a list of short term goals and set check-in dates with yourself to evaluate if you've achieved those goals, and if you haven't, reflect and understand why not, then restructure the short term goals to ensure you keep moving forward. An example of your first short term goal list could include-dedicate (x) amount of weeks to researching remote internships and volunteer opportunities related to the book publishing industry since there isn't much in your area. If you have put your best foot forward and cannot find anything, rework your short term goals to a list that includes something along the lines of-save (x) amount of money to be able to move to (x) area. The key is to be open to all different types of work, put your best foot forward in achieving your short term goals, and be open to restructuring your short term goals frequently. Sidenote, I think this also forces your mind to live in the present, which naturally creates a positive mindset.

I knew I wanted to be a writer instead of going to law school, so after college, I moved to New York and started working in a restaurant. New York is a tough city but offers so many different employment opportunities (restaurants, au pair, etc.), that allow you to make decent money while you pursue your dreams (internships, volunteering). I worked in various restaurants and internships (some related to my field, some not), which led me to my first job as an entry-level digital project manager. Eventually, the skills I acquired at that job led me to a job at a magazine, where I worked on the business side instead of journalism. This led me to work at a more prestigious digital publication, where I am still working on the business side but beginning to transition onto the editorial side of the publication, which is what I set out to do a few years ago. All the jobs I had before that were unrelated have actually helped me to achieve this goal and diversified my skill set compared to others I work with who adhered to a linear path.

To summarize, be open, and be honest with yourself. And start making that short term goal list!

Jillian recommends the following next steps:

Make short term goal list
Sample goal list might include: Update Resume (2 days), Research remote internships/volunteer opportunities (can be done just by using Google) and compile list (2-3 days), Apply
Re-evaluate and Restructure

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Kate’s Answer

You can do an online internship, or fellowship remotely if there are none in your town.

You can also look for "gig" economy work -- but it's often not as satisfying or advisory.

I sometimes offer editorial and writing, internships for my film blog and my poetry/fiction anthology (paid if the budget for the year allows) to people of all race, creeds, colors and orientations.

Kate recommends the following next steps:

Look for "remote internships," "remote fellowships"
Look at Submittable.com
https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=editorial+internships+remote&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&ibp=htl;jobs&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi04YzJ2vnhAhVCSK0KHVmUDcgQp4wCMAF6BAgJEBg#htidocid=hzp315r7pFLSvE6-AAAAAA%3D%3D
If you like Human Decency is Key or Film Will Never Be Dead (.com) you can definitely Skype with me about being an intern, but there's a LOT out there, so don't let your options be limited/narrow

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Cyndi A.’s Answer

You've already gotten some excellent advice on this site, so I'll keep mine brief:

1. Perfectionism is a virtue in the editing world. In your original question headline, the word "field" was misspelled (it's now been corrected). Any editor will disregard a poorly edited application. Be diligent and relentless on that.

2. Apply for volunteer and assistant opportunities. Many platforms allow you to work remotely.

3. Keep your professional online profiles (LinkedIn, CareerVillage, Upwork, etc.) current on your experience, achievements, software proficiencies and the position you're seeking; and your personal profiles (Instagram, Mewe, Facebook, etc.) peppered with what you're reading!

4. Showcase your work on your WordPress blog/website, preferably in a before-and-after format.

5. Keep a running list of target employers, get to know their styles and teams, sign up for Indeed notifications with their keywords, don't be afraid to reach out (repeatedly)...and don't give up. Best wishes to you!

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Rob’s Answer

Kimberly, good morning!

Happily, the continuing evolution of online publications affords many opportunities for editing that are not dependent upon geography. In addition to maintaining your already impressive skills in writing, revision, and editing, learn about multiple modalities in composition; What electronic platforms are the publications you want to work with using to accept submissions? Also, when you seen an editor position open at a publication that interests you, ask yourself how well you fit the job description. Do those publications want someone to guide their writers through revision or do they want a proofreader? Talk with writing consultants at high school and university writing centers and learning commons, perhaps even earning one of those positions. In addition to adding to your wheelhouse of skills, you will also gain experience in working with a diverse range of writing styles that will serve you as you engage with other writers professionally. You are asking questions now, Kimberly, which shows that you are committed to becoming a professional. Take strength from that when you have any self-doubt. I believe that you've got this.

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Forrest’s Answer

Always remember that the discipline of editing is the flip side of writing. Certifications are wonderful to have but part of their greatest value lies in their demonstration to your commitment of the craft. You can -and should- immerse yourself in the exercise of writing from anywhere.
Most social media networks are teeming with opportunities to volunteer your talents. Submit some work and prepare to be humbled. Every criticism you receive is a lesson that has the potential to inch you closer towards your ultimate goal. Stay focused, write everyday and make connections. Your opportunity will come.

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Dianne’s Answer

Hiya-
Your local paper or NPR station might take you on as an intern. Your college might let you help with something it publishes.
I might possibly be able to give you some experience with my company (Devil’s Party Press). Or contact your local Small Business Development Center and ask about entrepreneurship help.
:)
Dianne

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Glenn’s Answer

There are many book / author groups on Facebook. There is always someone looking for an editor or proof reader. Many of the members do not have BIG dollars yet and are hoping that their new book will do it for them. It would be a good opportunity for you to get experience and even build a name for yourself if you do a good job.

This is just a few I joined after I published my first two books.
First thing the group hit me on when I posted a comment was whether I had an editor look over my work.

Writers, Authors, Illustrators, Agents & Supporters
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2184741265080212/

Books, Blogs, Readers & Writers
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1738820499716120/

Writers, Books, Promotions
https://www.facebook.com/groups/426850011050975/


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Amy’s Answer

1-Practice, practice, practice! Start looking around at signs, brochures, fliers...anything you can really and think about the wording used. Would you make improvements? Try rewriting the information you see in another way. Be sure to keep examples of your work to show how you improved the writing.
2-Look for volunteer opportunities such as writing newsletters for a school, church, or other non-profit organization. It will give you experience and offer help to others at the same time. It's a win-win.
3-Try looking for simple, entry-level writing opportunities on Upwork. They don't always pay well, but it will give you the necessary experience.
4- Keep Grammarly, or a similar website that helps with editing suggestions as an easy-to-access tab. It really helps!
5- Keep a notebook or online journal with information you learn along the way so it's easily accessible.

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Tammy’s Answer

Rather than focusing on one particular field, explore other options that are similar and could be easier to gain experience. Volunteer locally if there's a local newspaper. Or volunteer online to help with social media. Is there an animal shelter that needs help sharing its available cats and dogs? You could offer to help with that. Is there a boys and girls organization that would appreciate help spreading the word about its mission? Look around for opportunities so you get experience. You may find a field that interests you just as much. I have been a newspaper editor and reporter but spent half my career in insurance communications -- and it's the best job I ever had. So don't focus on the end goal when you're starting out. Focus on learning about writing, editing, PR, etc. Good luck!

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi there!


So the first thing -- love books!! I served as an editor for a small publishing company for years, and while it's a lot of reading at work, I would still come home and dive into novels. It also helps to know what is popular with readers right now, not just to follow the trend, but to see where things could go. Be passionate about what you want to do, and also cognizant of what others are doing around you.


My path to becoming a book editor was unconventional. I have a Bachelor's degree in Literature (okay, that part's straightforward, haha) but I've held jobs in a lot of different industries. For example, my first job out of college was as a purchasing assistant for a cheese importer. Was it my dream job? No (also you smell like cheese every day so there's that too). But it all helps for experience. I learned office tasks and how to put together newsletters. That lead me to a job as a reporter and analyst for a food trade magazine. Then I was in sales and did coding before I found a job as an assistant editor. Each job will help you and teach you in ways you don't expect, and can be amazing experience for jobs down the road.


As the previous comment states, your first job in publishing will probably not be editing. But again, that's okay! Keep your chin up! It'll be something to get your foot in the door. Plus, even if your first position is fact checking or as an office assistant, when the time comes for an assistant or associate editor to be hired, they'll be more likely to consider you if you've worked there and understand how the company works. This happened all the time at the publisher where I worked.


You mentioned not having any publishing houses nearby. Would you be able to commute or relocate? I know when I was an editor, it was imperative to be in the office. I had to not only read manuscripts, but test out recipes (we published mostly cookbooks), maintain author relationships, help with design/layout, liaison with copy editors, proofreaders and indexers, assist in marketing, write back cover copy, tip sheets and other sales material... There's definitely more to the position than just editing, and it's not something a lot of employers would hire a freelance position for, especially without prior experience.

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Look for local publishing houses and check out their career/jobs pages often. Be open to any jobs as they'll help get your foot in the door and will help as experience down the line
See if you can help out/get an internship at a newspaper or magazine, or get a job at a bookstore. Be around books/publishing in any way possible!
Don't give up!!

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Carole’s Answer

Write to publishers you admire and see if they offer internships in the summer. Include who you are in the letter, why you are passionate about books and maybe even a personal story of why reading is transformative. Send emails or call local newspapers to see if they accept volunteers and if so, volunteer a few hours a week shadowing some of the writers so that you can discover and learn. Look for online publishing venues and write to them to see what they suggest to get your foot in the door. Hope these ideas propel you into the direction of your dreams!

Carole recommends the following next steps:

Create a cover letter explaining why you are passionate about this career
Research publishers
Send letters and follow up if you don’t hear back.

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Connor’s Answer

Howdy,

I'm also in the same boat, I'm from a small town, and an even smaller state! One thing most towns have, is a newspaper, of some sort. You could totally try and contact the individuals running the paper and see if they need any volunteer/interning. I mean, why not! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

As for myself, I decided to take a more passive route and studied the style manuals. I'd recommend learning a bit about the Chicago Manual of Style while you're still young! It's laughably expensive, but I'm sure your local library has its' contents online, or even better, a physical copy on the shelves marinated in dust.

Connor recommends the following next steps:

Research Newspapers or local publishers and directly contact an individual in charge

Connor, I liked your suggestion to Kimberley. Studying Style Manuals is a good idea. I also want to follow that. Regards! Sincerely, Anil Shrivastava Anil Shrivastava

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Dianne’s Answer

Hiya-
Your local paper or NPR station might take you on as an intern. Your college might let you help with something it publishes.
I might possibly be able to give you some experience with my company (Devil’s Party Press). Or contact your local Small Business Development Center and ask about entrepreneurship help.
:)
Dianne

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Ojonimi’s Answer

I think the first step towards achieving this is to get a credible certification to enable you acquire the required knowledge needed. It's also important that you have you have an intended area of specification in editorial I.e sports, entertainment, technology, health etc

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Patricia’s Answer

The advice you've gotten is quite good. I particularly like Cindy A.'s advice.

I've worked with Disneyland and UCLA on how to develop an approach to careers, and I'd like to share that approach with you.

Here goes: Instead of visualizing a career LADDER with a single way to a single job, try the visual of a "CAREER WEB" with the acquisition of many skills and fllexibility in the jobs you will do.

That is, "reframe" how you get to your ideal job. A web lets you envision many steps in a career (the web is composed of skills, experience, and networks) that let you build a career that is flexible enought to accommodate changes in the world AND changes in your desired position at different points in your life. (I have powerpoint presentation on this concept that I've delivered to UCLA Students & Alums as well as the entire staff at Disneyland. (LMK if you'd like a copy.)

Certainly learn about the field by looking at current job descriptions on job boards and the skills they require. Note the companies where these jobs are located. And, as was suggested, fill in any skills that you don't have with coursework or remote internships. Start to identify what parts of specific job descriptions resonate with you and which companies (and locations) appeal to you.

A career is built on your learning about what you enjoy (which often changes!) with the overlap the value of your skills in the maket place. For example, I was the chair of a department at a university, a college professor — and I loved it! However, I transitioned into leadership and coaching in business because I liked the pace and clarity of a well-run business. (Along the way I added a certificate in Business Management and many business programs to my Ph.D.)

Consider settng into motion these specific networking actions that will encourage you to gain a network flexible enough to enable you to move from position to position.

First, make a list of companies that have editing jobs that you would like to have at some point and a list of people who like you and know your strenghts.

Second, Activate your networking around those PEOPLE + COMPANIES.

a. Set up a spreadsheet with the names of people who can connect you with people who may know someone in the field or at any of the companies at which jobs like the one you want exist.

b. Put these names on the excel spreadsheet along with contact info and the date you connect with them. With these first initial connections (who are probably teachers, friends, parents, etc.) ask only two things: what do they think would be your strengths/weaknesses as an editor? Do they know anyone in publishing/editing (even a local paper)? That is, do they know an author, an influencer, a blogger, a speaker, or anyone else tangentially connected to the COMPANIES you have identified (e.g. even in operations or human resources, etc.)

2. After talking with your first level connections, start adding any additional connnections onto your spreadsheet and start talking to your second connection folks. (See the web forming?) Thank your first level connections IN WRITING for their insights into your own strengths and sharing their connections. Connections are as valuable as gold.

3. Set up a specific number of contacts you will get to each week. Change your questions to fit the person with whom you are speaking. Remember to keep your "web of connections" involved with your search. Thank everyone and keep all involved in your search with monthly updates. Congratulations, you are developing a WEB of people that will support you throughout your career.

Third: identify twin goals. One goal for the number of people with whom you have connected with AND the second goal of the number of companies you have identified as within your interest.

Experts differ on exact numbers, but at some point (around 30 connections and 20 companies with jobs), you should be able to hone in on a job that is "right" for you. Start applying.

Fourth, if you have any difficulty with the interview process or with resumes design, linkedin seo, etc., don't hesitate to get an expert on the subject to coach you through.

Good luck!

Dr. Pat








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Yasir’s Answer

If you have a laptop and you have data then you learn online and this is help full for you to learn at home

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Reyan’s Answer

I understand, it gets hard when enought opportunities are not around. However, if you want to gain some experience in writing/editing, you should start as a remote freelancer. This will allow you to hone up your skills as a content creator and manager, and then when you see the opportunity is right, you can give it a shot. With the freelancing experience, the possibility of your selection will be a lot higher.
There are a lot of companies around the world that provide freelancing opportunities, you can google and apply. Hope it help!

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Tammy’s Answer

Rather than focusing on one particular field, explore other options that are similar and could be easier to gain experience. Volunteer locally if there's a local newspaper. Or volunteer online to help with social media. Is there an animal shelter that needs help sharing its available cats and dogs? You could offer to help with that. Is there a boys and girls organization that would appreciate help spreading the word about its mission? Look around for opportunities so you get experience. You may find a field that interests you just as much. I have been a newspaper editor and reporter but spent half my career in insurance communications -- and it's the best job I ever had. So don't focus on the end goal when you're starting out. Focus on learning about writing, editing, PR, etc. Good luck!

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Molly’s Answer

As one well-known journalist said to me, it's better to have well-rounded knowledge -- history, art, politics, government, geography -- than it is to have a journalism degree. However, as a journalist and writing coach for many years, I'd add that it is absolutely critical to have a thorough understanding of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Also, spelling. If you can't present well-written sentences, you can't edit.

Molly recommends the following next steps:

Read -- a lot! Study basic grammar and punctuation. Watch your spelling.

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Sara’s Answer

Editing is editing is editing, to some extent. Work on student publications if you haven't already. Lots of small magazines work on a shoestring budget and need volunteer editors. Do that for a little while and you can parlay that into a paid position, either with a magazine or book publishing company. Don't forget to look for small book presses as well.

Also do some freelance editing. Start with editing shorter pieces on a per-word or per-page basis. (Getting a job in your school's Writing Center is a good way to start). Combine all of the above and you'll have a resume built up before too long.


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Ralph’s Answer

I'm guessing that for you and your cohort, the remote work/work from anywhere paradigm will be fully shifted as you enter and get established in the workforce. So, maybe not having jobs physically around you won't be as big of a deal as it was when I started my career in the early 1990s. You either had to find a job withing commuting distance of your house, or relocate. So, as the previous advisor states, you should be concentrating on killing it in school, and take advantage of anything the school has to offer in the way of internships, placement, etc. On the other hand, as someone who lives in the NYC metro area, I've worked with many transplants from other states who came her years ago, with nothing, and started their lives in the big city. But first, get your experience. Sometimes it's good to be the big fish in the small pond.

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Jeff’s Answer

It is possible to get a remote job editing or writing, but if you are serious about the book publishing field you really do need, sooner or later, to be in New York, LA or Chicago.

It’s really about marketing more than production skills, so any media marketing experience or internships you can bring to the party will help.

Look for professional courses where you can earn credentials and meet people.

You may also wish to consider joining forums where you can meet people in the field, such as on LinkedIn.

Jeff recommends the following next steps:

Search LinkedIn for marketing and publication groups.

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Bleakney’s Answer

This is great! Hopefully you have Internet access...a good place to start is to compose a portfolio of your editing. Most companies will ask for samples of your work. Then choose either where you want to work, or search for remote work (from home). It might be helpful to narrow down what you’d like to edit, as far as your search goes. Best wishes and Good luck!

Bleakney recommends the following next steps:

Gather samples of your work
Narrow down to a city where you’d like to live, or work from home remotely
What do you want to edit? Choose 3 topics that you wouldn’t mind learning EVERYTHING about!
Don’t Give Up!😊

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Ann’s Answer

Starting off with equipping yourself with the necessary certificate and tools for becoming a book editor.

Since there are not much opportunities in your area, you can dive into working remotely . This will help you fulfill your dream .

You can decide to relocate after working as a book editor for some years to locations of viable opportunities.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Based on the advice others have given me, you might need to move to a city where publishing jobs are concentrated, such as New York City. Be aware that even entry level editorial assistant positions may require several years worth of experience. If you want to build up experience on your resume beforehand, you can also look for remote internship opportunities on sites such as Bookjobs.com. Make sure to research these remote companies and find out whether or not their postings are scams. As for networking, try finding any employees at your company of choice who could refer you and see if you have any mutual connections. Once they accept your invitation, then you could ask them for referrals.


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Anil’s Answer

Hi Kimberly!

I've been publishing Thethinkclub Quarterly www.TheThinkClub.com since 1995. I also edited and published five books under the banner of Thethinkclub Publication. The best way to start for you will be to seek a position either as an intern or a volunteer with a publishing house. You may also approach local newspapers and magazines for a similar position. The idea is to get a feel and bag some credential for yourself.

Best of luck to you in all your endeavors!

Sincerely,

Anil Shrivastava


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Patricia’s Answer

The advice you've gotten is quite good. I particularly like Cindy A.'s advice.

I've worked with Disneyland and UCLA on how to develop an approach to careers, and I'd like to share that approach with you.

Here goes: Instead of visualizing a career LADDER with a single way to a single job, try the visual of a "CAREER WEB" with the acquisition of many skills and fllexibility in the jobs you will do.

That is, "reframe" how you get to your ideal job. A web lets you envision many steps in a career (the web is composed of skills, experience, and networks) that let you build a career that is flexible enought to accommodate changes in the world AND changes in your desired position at different points in your life. (I have powerpoint presentation on this concept that I've delivered to UCLA Students & Alums as well as the entire staff at Disneyland. (LMK if you'd like a copy.)

Certainly learn about the field by looking at current job descriptions on job boards and the skills they require. Note the companies where these jobs are located. And, as was suggested, fill in any skills that you don't have with coursework or remote internships. Start to identify what parts of specific job descriptions resonate with you and which companies (and locations) appeal to you.

A career is built on your learning about what you enjoy (which often changes!) with the overlap the value of your skills in the maket place. For example, I was the chair of a department at a university, a college professor — and I loved it! However, I transitioned into leadership and coaching in business because I liked the pace and clarity of a well-run business. (Along the way I added a certificate in Business Management and many business programs to my Ph.D.)

Consider settng into motion these specific networking actions that will encourage you to gain a network flexible enough to enable you to move from position to position.

First, make a list of companies that have editing jobs that you would like to have at some point and a list of people who like you and know your strenghts.

Second, Activate your networking around those PEOPLE + COMPANIES.

a. Set up a spreadsheet with the names of people who can connect you with people who may know someone in the field or at any of the companies at which jobs like the one you want exist.

b. Put these names on the excel spreadsheet along with contact info and the date you connect with them. With these first initial connections (who are probably teachers, friends, parents, etc.) ask only two things: what do they think would be your strengths/weaknesses as an editor? Do they know anyone in publishing/editing (even a local paper)? That is, do they know an author, an influencer, a blogger, a speaker, or anyone else tangentially connected to the COMPANIES you have identified (e.g. even in operations or human resources, etc.)

2. After talking with your first level connections, start adding any additional connnections onto your spreadsheet and start talking to your second connection folks. (See the web forming?) Thank your first level connections IN WRITING for their insights into your own strengths and sharing their connections. Connections are as valuable as gold.

3. Set up a specific number of contacts you will get to each week. Change your questions to fit the person with whom you are speaking. Remember to keep your "web of connections" involved with your search. Thank everyone and keep all involved in your search with monthly updates. Congratulations, you are developing a WEB of people that will support you throughout your career.

Third: identify twin goals. One goal for the number of people with whom you have connected with AND the second goal of the number of companies you have identified as within your interest.

Experts differ on exact numbers, but at some point (around 30 connections and 20 companies with jobs), you should be able to hone in on a job that is "right" for you. Start applying.

Fourth, if you have any difficulty with the interview process or with resumes design, linkedin seo, etc., don't hesitate to get an expert on the subject to coach you through.

Good luck!

Dr. Pat








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Jean de Dieu’s Answer

Having the culture of reading and writing book


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Maxwell’s Answer

There are many ways, and ultimately you have to realize that presence and connections (mostly online but also in-person) can take you to where you want to go!

Learn as much as you can about your desired path, and make it known!

You can put up videos on social media where you discuss your biggest takeaways from, say, a YouTube video you watched on the subject.

You can make regular posts on your page about how you could help people with their own goals in the relevant industry or space.

You can find online communities (Facebook groups are awesome - just type in keywords such as “publishing” or “editor” and you will be surprised what you find!) where you can meet other people with similar goals - and the key here is to engage!

Start conversations (for the sake of conversation) with people both in comments sections and DMs!

Offer any help you can - just put all the value you have out to offer for free in the open - be yourself and be genuine and just make these connections for fun!

Down the line, you never know where this can lead.

If you start out chasing only money, people will sense that.

But, inversely, if you start out doing something simply out of pure enjoyment, people will also sense that and are actually way more likely to be drawn towards it!

These are just a few free and easy options you can do - it’s also great to utilize websites like udemy.com and other similar sites that sell courses and can give you skills to help you move closer to your goals (they have regular sales where the courses are only $10, and there’s already a bunch of free courses!).

Start with just a few of these options, but I want to emphasize the power of engaging and connecting with others.

What would benefit you the most would be a mentor, or even an internship, as experience and guidance are invaluable and can never be taken away from you.

By making random online connections with the right community aligned with your future goals, you literally never know who you’ll meet and where you can end up!

Take your journey slow and steady, and make sure to enjoy each step and lesson you learn!

Maxwell recommends the following next steps:

Find relevant Facebook or other online communities
Find online courses that are relevant
Soak up information from YouTube (and take notes!)
Journal your process and important lessons, and share them on social media (if you feel comfortable doing so)
Seek out connections with the eventual goal of finding a mentor figure

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Julianna’s Answer

Hi Kimberly,

From personal experience, I've found that reaching out to companies or individuals who are professionals in the field help to expand my network, and create new opportunities (even where it is geographically limited).

A great place to start is what's called an "informational interview." You would do this by contacting an editing professional (I'll include a link on how you can do this) - on LinkedIn or a 'Contact Us' form on a company website - expressing your interest in the field.

Remember that everyone you talk to knows somebody, who knows somebody, who knows someone else! Who knows, maybe that could open the door to a career in your city or elsewhere.

Note: After an informational interview, send a thank-you note (electronically is fine), and keep in touch with your new contact! Some great ways to do that include:
- Sending articles that may relate to the conversation you've had
- Sharing industry news you find interesting
- Any questions you may have

Here are some helpful links:

- How to request an informational interview (Step #4): https://career.berkeley.edu/Info/InfoInterview

- Informational interview questions: https://career.berkeley.edu/Info/InfoQuestions

- Publishing Companies in Utah: https://writingtipsoasis.com/top-book-publishers-in-utah/

Best of luck!

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Rachel’s Answer

It's fantastic that you have identified an area that you're so passionate about. There are so many ways to reach your goal. After college I went to get my master's in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College in Boston. It was an excellent program which helped me get internships and my first job as an editorial assistant. Programs like this are a great option, but there are other ways of getting additional education in this specific field such as certificate programs which are shorter and less expensive. Online programs can also be beneficial if moving is not an easy option for you.

But even before you think about a degree, build a strong foundation for yourself. Your coursework is important, as well as being involved with student organizations such as a writing center, newspapers, yearbook, or literary magazines. This type of involvement is great for your own experience as well as for your resume. Learn as much as you can.

Consider starting to write on topics which interest you and sharing them via a blog or website. You can work on a portfolio which can help you with jobs later on. Freelance writing can be a great way to get started, and to do that you need samples of your work to share.

Network, network, network. Use LinkedIn to search for internships and jobs, but also to review profiles of people in the industry to see what kind of experiences someone in your ideal job has. There are groups for professionals you can join to ask questions and make connections.

Look for any type of publishing going on in your area, as well as online. There are local newspapers and small independent presses everywhere. Search them out and apply for internships. Even asking to help write and print a local town newsletter is great experience! Even small jobs can lead to greater opportunities. Don't be afraid to walk into a local place and ask if there is a way for you to get involved! There are many online student publications that you can volunteer for. In college I worked for our literary magazine, but I also volunteered for an online student literary magazine where submissions (and editors) came from all over. There are so many online options available.

There are more opportunities around you than you may realize, and every one increases your knowledge and creates additional opportunities for your future.

Rachel recommends the following next steps:

Join any relevant student organizations.
Search for any local writing or publishing option and ask if you can get involved.
Start writing to create your own portfolio of work on topics that you're interested in.
Use LinkedIn to search for internships or remote positions, and to network in your area of interest.

Wao...this is interesting, thanks for this Roseline Chima

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Drenusha’s Answer

Knowing what career objective you are interested in pursuing means that you are already on the right trajectory of reaching your goal. Congratulations!

Having a big goal is a wonderful thing, but most of the times we undervalue our small daily goals – these are as easy to do as they are not to do.

As a first step, I would suggest researching professionals on online platforms in the likes of LinkedIn. What are these people doing for a living? How long have they worked in the industry that you are interested in pursuing? What kind of work have they done previously that inspires you? What would you like to learn from them? When you have the answers to these questions figured out, then you can focus on reaching out to each and every single one of them for advice.

Begin by writing a short introductory description of yourself together with a personalized note of why you appreciate their line of work, what inspires you about the work they have done, and explain how you would like to learn more about the area in question. Most of the time, people are more than willing and able to give advice to those who are genuinely interested in their line of work.

You never know where an introductory note of this sort might take you, it might gain you a mentorship, a traineeship, an internship or a lifelong friendship – but one thing is for certain, most of the time it is a small step that makes a huge difference and most definitely takes you out of your comfort zone.

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Geoffrey’s Answer

Hi, Kimberly,


I've been a book editor for twenty years. If you want to work as an editor for a book publishing company, you will need to live near one. While most publishers are in New York City or Nashville, there are book publishers all over the country. Many of them are looking for interns. I recommend you search for any book publishers in your area.


If you ever are ready to move, I recommend you look at a book publishing program, such as Denver Publishing Institute or Columbia's Publishing Course. They will give you a leg up on the competition. Whether you want an in-house editor position or if you want to try to get freelance editing jobs, you will need to be familiar with the Chicago Manual of Style. It's a hefty style manual available for an annual subscription or in a print edition. This is the bible of book publishing.


Hope this helps.


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