Book editor: How to train yourself to become one
Book editing is tough and costs you sleepless nights and chewed up nails. But it’s exciting all the same and can give you a window into the magnificent writing that talented authors are conjuring up every day. Many writers have dreamt about becoming a book editor. Maybe it is because of the insight that they would get into their own book or get to see what other authors are drumming up. Becoming a book editor is tough, and there is obviously a lot of competition in the industry. But it is an exciting profession and is definitely something that you should go ahead with if you have ruminated over it in the recent past.
Book editing can come through a variety of means. You can either become a book editor and work with a company independently without being their ’employee’, you can be a freelance book editor, which means you can edit and proofread books independently or you can be a book editor for a publishing house or editing and proofreading company.
We have some tips for you on how to start out on the path to become a book editor.
- Get some training: You do not have to have a bachelor’s degree in English to even dream of being a book editor. But it is necessary to know the technicalities of book editing. It is better if you look up online book editor modules or look up short term courses at least. It’s important to know the technicalities of book editing: the levels of book editing, jargon and the industry. Make sure that whatever course you choose has a sample for you to do at the end for you to understand whether you need more training or you are ready to get your hands ink-stained in the field.
- Read up everything you can get your hands on: It is without a doubt that a good book editor has to be an avid reader as well. Through extensive reading, you’ll be able to understand what is important in the art of writing, which ultimately will help you understand how to approach a book or document when you start editing it. Reading will also help you understand what approaches other book editors take.
- Improve your writing skills: Even if a bachelor’s degree is preferred, it is possible to break into the field without a degree. But for this, you need strong writing skills. Ensure that your grammar is impeccable and you understand the ins and outs of the English language well. Even if you then break into the field without an English degree, you will be able to edit books or documents in other domains than literature: fashion, technical, science and technology.
- Practice everyday and get experience: A book editor usually needs to have some experience writing and proofreading. Apply for book editing internships or work as a writer, editorial assistant, or reporter. You can get internship opportunities through the many apps available or you can scour LinkedIn. Apart from this, it is very important that editors develop basic computer skills: electronic publishing and social media. These internships will inculcate other skills into your resume such as finding good and compelling stories and how to communicate with writers throughout their writing journey.
Book editing and becoming a book editor is a path that many want to take but are intimidated by. And you are right, it is intimidating. But with PaperTrue‘s guidance, proper understanding of the job and determination, you will book (pun intended) yourself a spot in the editing world!
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