Career Profile: Book Editor

Career Profile: Book Editor

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

For people who love to read, becoming a book editor might seem like the perfect job. However, being an editor is about much more than just reading. It’s also about helping authors make their books the best that they can be, whether in style, content, or grammar.

Have you ever read a book that seemed to go on forever or that didn’t always make sense? The author probably failed to hire an editor to check for repetition or problems with the plot. Other books are full of typing errors or grammatical mistakes that make them hard to read. Taking care of errors like these is what many book editors do.

Editors can work on many different aspects of book publishing. Some editors work with helping writers develop ideas for their books. Helping an author with researching other works on the same topic can be part of a book editor’s job. Other editors work with the grammar and spelling to make sure that there are no technical mistakes, and others might check the facts in the book to make sure they are accurate.

Some book editors work at publishing houses and can earn close to $46,000 per year, or sometimes even more if they have experience. Others work for private clients and have irregular incomes. They might work regular hours at an office or work during the evenings at home. The work is not physically difficult, but it can be hard to concentrate for long periods of time. Book editors need to be able to work alone for much of the time, but they also need to be able to work with authors, illustrators, and other people involved in the publishing process.

Working as an editor requires knowledge of different kinds of books like science fiction novels or non-fiction economics books. Editors work with all kinds of subjects, and they need to know at least a bit about the subjects or be able to learn a little bit about them in a short amount of time. Editors who work in publishing houses normally need at least a bachelor’s degree, and it’s a good idea for other editors to have at least that level of education, as well. For textbook editors, it might be necessary to have even higher levels of education, like a Master’s degree.

A good editor is an important part of the book publishing process. If you like to help writers make books better, the job might be right for you.


Kudler, David. “7 Deadly Myths and 3 Inspired Truths About Book Editing.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kudler/book-editing_b_2990583.html.

Payscale.com. “Editor Salary (Canada).” http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Editor/Salary.

Study.com. Book Editor: Education Requirements and Career Information. http://study.com/articles/Book_Editor_Education_Requirements_and_Career_Information.html.

Truity.com. “Editor.” https://www.truity.com/career-profile/editor.

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