Challenges faced by book editors
Chasing your dreams and fulfilling them is the best feeling that one can have. But if your dream was being a book editor, then let us tell you; it is DEFINITELY not that easy. There are a number of challenges that you have to face as a book editor:
- Keep track of author submissions: One of the biggest challenges is to always to try to keep somewhat current with the enormous volume of printed submissions (full manuscripts and proposals) that continually flood your desk. On top of this, the internet completely enters the workflow, increasing the volume exponentially because it becomes easier for authors to submit their manuscripts. This makes it extremely time consuming to follow a deadline to read and review each manuscript. Throughout this process, you have to understand the vision of the author and if you like it, how should you acquire it, edit it and finally publish it. It’s a long and tedious process.
- Risk of losing a potential client because of overwork: Even if you categorise your incoming submissions and organise them, there is always the risk of letting weeks, then months, and sometimes many months go by before you let an author or agent know if you wanted to pursue a project, or that you are declining it. This dynamic between a book editor and an author generally favoured the buyer; the author. On top of this, in-house duties do not allow the editor to remain on top of a submission.
- No job without experience, no experience without a job: This may sound like every millennial’s story, but it is not. Book editing is a highly skilled job that can be undertaken only with the right skills, technique and practical application of theoretical knowledge. But to acquire this theoretical knowledge, you have to get some on the ground training, but to do the on-ground training, you have to acquire theoretical knowledge. For freshers who are starting out in the editing industry, this is easier compared to individuals seeking actively for a job change.
- Unsatisfactory Pay for freelance book editors: If you are a fresher and starting out in the book editing and publishing industry, you might as well be ready for some financial compromises. For you to be able to get a decent amount for each manuscript that you edit, two things are important: a) Contacts in the publishing industry and b) Experience in book editing.
- Boredom and monotony: Book editing jobs are very routine-oriented and boring when you compare them to more creatively challenging jobs like that of a writer or copywriter. It’s very hard to focus on a job like this. In addition to this, if you are faced with a manuscript that is bad in quality, in creeps the frustration that is very obvious. To avoid this, take periodic breaks and try to do an activity that calms you and eases your routine-drenched mind.
- Book editing is demanding and time consuming: Book editing is a very time and energy consuming job. It is also a job that you cannot afford to make mistakes on; great concentration and focus is important to make sure that you do not miss out the tiniest of errors. At some publishing and book editing companies, one needs to be there on the employer’s time and may even have to work overtime due to work pressure.
Even if book editing is a tough job and the publishing industry is ruthless, doing what you love can keep you going in the roughest seas. But don’t forget to take care of your physical and mental health even while working as a book editor and keep a checklist of health do’s and don’t to help you balance the work-life stress and pressure with much more ease.
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