How to Become an Editor: A Guide for Beginners
Are you the type of person who can quickly scan a block of text and spot all the errors? Do you enjoy giving feedback on your friends’ essays? If so, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about becoming an editor.
What does an editor do?
A good editor must have sharp eyes, a patient and focused demeanor, excellent communication skills, and a strong sense of what storytellers value.
The main types of editing work
An editor’s job is to work with writers to make their work the best it can be. There are three types of book editing you can work in: development, copy, and proofreading; academic editors, news and magazine editors, and blog and media editors typically do a combination of all three.
How much do editors make?
As of 2021, the average editor in the United States earns around $65-70k per year, with years of experience and high-level expertise earning up to $100k per year. As more editors take control, freelancing is becoming a more popular option.
1. Read as much as you can
If you want to be a literary fiction editor, read the New York Times Best Seller list, or subscribe to Vogue and Town if you want to be a lifestyle magazine editor.
2. Earn your “editing degree” (read: almost any bachelor’s)
Editors typically major in related subjects such as English, Journalism, or Communications, and if you want to pursue academic editing, you’ll need a postgraduate degree in your specialist subject.
3. Take internships and small gigs
If you’re looking for book editing internships, look on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn; if you can’t find or afford an internship, look for short-term gigs on Upwork. Even with a compelling profile and plenty of self-marketing, you’ll probably have to take jobs that don’t pay well.
4. Find your niche as an editor
We break down the most common types of book editors so you can think about which path you might want to pursue after a few months in the editing trenches.
Book editors work on full-length manuscripts of 50,000 words or more, and as a book editor, you’ll have a direct impact on the literary world and be involved in exciting projects. It’s an incredibly rewarding niche, but dedicating yourself to book editing is also a major commitment.
News and magazine editors
A degree in journalism or communications is required for this job, and you’ll likely need an internship or a personal connection to get a foot in the door.
Academic editors work on research papers, theses, and dissertations, which can range in length from 20 to 200 pages depending on your specialty. You’ll need a post-graduate degree in the relevant subject to work as an academic editor, but there are plenty of proofreading and editing opportunities if you meet this requirement.
Web editors create and edit content for a variety of online sources, and they must be familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. This is a good specialty for those looking to gain useful skills in an increasingly Internet-based world.
5. Chase better editing jobs
Once you’ve figured out your niche, go after it with everything you’ve got; if you don’t already have one, get one now! You can even blog about editing-related topics to demonstrate your expertise and attract clients.
How do I get a job as an editor?
Sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn can help you find both freelance and full-time editing jobs. Journalism and media sites: Look for news editing jobs on Media Bistro, JournalismJobs.com, or Mediagazer.
What qualifications do I need to become an editor?
You’ll need the following items:
- Excellent written communication skills.
- The ability to work well with others.
- Knowledge of media production and communication.
- The ability to read English.
- Excellent verbal communication skills.
- To be thorough and pay attention to detail.
How much does an editor earn?
In the early stages of her/ his career, an editor can earn anywhere between INR 3.3 LPA and INR 4.0 LPA, though this may vary depending on the organization with which she/ he works.
Are editors in demand?
Editors’ Job Outlook Demand for editors is expected to increase, with 30,039 new jobs expected to be filled by 2018, representing an annual increase of 3.79 percent over the next few years.
Are proofreaders in demand?
You might be concerned that because proofreading jobs pay well, the market is oversaturated; however, this is not the case; demand for proofreaders is always increasing.
How do I become an editor with no experience?
- Enroll in a Freelance Editing Course.
- Obtain work samples.
- Use Microsoft tracker and comments.
- Create a website.
- Niche down.
- Join editing and writing Facebook groups.
- Join freelance work platforms.
How much should I charge for editing?
Rates of Editorial
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What skills do video editors need?
- Patience and concentration.
- the ability to listen to others and work well as part of a team.
- a high level of self-motivation, commitment, and dedication.
- organizational and time management skills.
Is an editor a good career?
Editors often work with little supervision and are expected to make their own decisions, which can be very rewarding for the right person. Many freelance editors enjoy the freedom to work from home, set their own hours, and choose their own projects, which requires discipline.
Are editors paid well?
The median wage for book editors in May 2019 was $61,370, with the highest salaries going to editors in New York and Los Angeles, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How long does it take to become an editor?
To work as an editor, no certification or licensure is required. How long does it take to become an editor? Most people earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, with those pursuing graduate publishing or editing degrees or certificates taking an additional year or two to complete their education.
How do I turn my writing into a career?
How to Start a Second Career as a Writer
- Learn about all the different types of writing you can do.
- Look for ways to write at your current job.
- Use your career expertise.
- Build your network and brand yourself as a writer.
- Look for writing jobs.
- Your previous experience counts.
What careers are there for writers?
Job Opportunities for Writers
- Overseeing various types of corporate communications and ensuring that the public perceives your company favorably requires a combination of top-notch writing and marketing skills.
- Technical writer.
- Book editor.
- Public relations specialist.
Is there a test I can take to see what career is best for me?
The Career Personality Profiler is a comprehensive, scientifically validated career test that assesses both your interests and personality traits in order to help you find the right career for you, including real-world careers, industries, and college majors.