Book Editor: Job Description & Salary
Check out the information below about becoming a book editor. You will find out more about the job description, salary, job duties, and the education required for this career and whether or not it is the right occupation for you!
Career at a First Glance
Book editors are incredibly important as they revise the material in books that are going to be published. Their duties include checking spelling errors, grammar and punctuation. Check out the chart below for more information:
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Duties||Work directly with writers and publications; rewrite text; review material; approve final versions|
|Median Salary (2018)||$55,390 per year (editors who work for newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers)*|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||3% decline (all editors)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Does a Book Editor Do?
A book editor has a variety of duties; however, her main purpose is to plan, manage, and review material in books from authors and/or publication organizations. Book editors deliver feedback to improve the material and even suggest new titles and headlines. Additionally, they may even develop stories and content ideas that are in accordance with their publications' editorial policies and established writing styles.
There are also different types of book editors that can include development editors, line editors, proofreaders, and copy editors. For example, a development editor is someone who communicates with authors to develop manuscripts; look over the structure, plot, and characters in a fictional novel; or evaluate the argument in a non-fiction novel. Proofreaders are the last ones to look at a book before it goes for its official publishing.
What Education Is Required?
The majority of employers will hire book editors that have at least a bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, or English. If you are interested in a certain area of writing, then most publications or authors will want someone that has past experience, so being able to gain volunteer and paid work in writing is extremely important! You can start getting experience as early as your high school years, working on your high school newspaper, then moving onto college newspapers, magazines, nonprofit organizations, advertising and publication businesses, etc.
How Much Will I Earn?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for editors working for newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers in 2018 was $55,390 per year. This is on the lower end for editors, as the highest median salary was $67,230 per year for those working for scientific, professional and technical services. Most editors work full-time in an office setting; however, with the development of digital communication, it has been easier for a growing number of editors to work from home or remotely. It has been found that most editors will work overtime, especially the closer a publication date gets.
What Is the Job Outlook?
Unfortunately, the projected job outlook for editors is expected to either decline by 3% or have no change between 2018 and 2028. The BLS attributes this prediction partially to the fact that many print media businesses are pushing towards online publications, as that is where the current market is and where growth is expected. If a book editor has experience with online publications, then they are more likely to have job opportunities.
What Are Some Alternative Careers?
Becoming an author or writer is another great occupation to consider if you are interested in some of the duties of a book editor. These workers get to create ideas for blogs, books, newspapers, movies, plays, scripts and television. A technical writer is an individual that prepares how-to-manuals, journal articles, instructional manuals, etc., and this could also be a great opportunity to get to write and edit. Managers in advertising, promotions and marketing develop programs and products that meet the standards of consumers. All of these other occupations require a bachelor's degree but give you an option to consider other avenues depending on your specific interest of book editing and writing.