Becoming an Editor in 6 Easy Steps!
People that are thinking about editing careers:
Imagine the following: You open the book you’ve been intending to read for a while while cuddled up on your couch at home. It is rife with misplaced apostrophes, overused commas, inconsistent spellings (such as “work-life balance” and “work/life balance”), irregularly sized page margins, and weak plots.
If finding errors makes you shudder (or if the thought of there being such a book aches), editing may be your true calling.
It will be your responsibility as a professional editor to find every mistake in a piece of writing and to assist writers in refining and developing their work. In essence, you’ll protect the written word and ensure that the books, periodicals, newspapers, and blogs that readers read are in excellent condition. Why don’t you sit back and read about the journey of becoming an Editor in 6 easy steps!
What do Editors Do?
To ensure that what authors write is both what they genuinely want to convey and fits the publication’s style, editors work closely with writers. Editors are responsible for polishing and editing a piece of text (such as a book, narrative, essay, or academic paper) before it is published. They can be thought of as the gatekeepers of the written word.
There are four primary categories of editors, each of which is in charge of a certain phase of the publication process:
1. Developmental Editor – The duties of a “Developmental editor” include helping authors choose topics, organizing the overall structure and creating an outline, as well as occasionally providing writing advice.
2. Line Editor – Line editing is the process of going over the language usage, creative material, and writing style at the sentence and paragraph levels.
3. Copy Editor: This type of editor concentrates on the specifics of a piece of writing and is tasked with making it more readable and appropriate for purpose as well as making sure there are no grammatical or factual errors.
4. Proofreader: The final phase in the publication process, proofreading entails checking the text’s final draft for consistency and accuracy in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and layout.
Many people focus on editing books, magazines, newspapers, websites, or other types of media. They might also focus in editing content for a particular sector, like fashion, travel, health care, law, or science.
Responsibilities and Obligations of Editors
In each business and for each function, an editor’s daily responsibilities vary slightly, but generally speaking, they consist of the following:
- Reading the text, checking it for typographical, grammatical, and syntactical problems, and checking that it complies with publication standards and policies are all steps in the editing process.
- Employing standardized reference sources to conduct research and verify facts, dates, and statistics.
- Text should be rewritten and improved for readability and clarity.
- Giving writers constructive criticism and guidance so they can improve their work without sacrificing voice or directness
- Establishing an editorial schedule, coming up with topic ideas, managing production, allocating projects, and keeping track of deadlines.
- Overseeing or coordinating the work of editors, authors, designers, photographers, and other creatives.
Also Read: Free Online Books for 12-Year-Olds
Pros of Editorial Work
Even while being an editor is not particularly risky employment (in comparison to being a police officer or a construction worker, for example), there are still hazards and difficulties involved.
Stress, worry, and weariness are the most prevalent concerns editors have about their employment because of the long hours they put in, the demanding workloads they face, and the pressure to meet numerous deadlines. Job burnout and even severe depression may result if this is not addressed. In contrast, the continual worry of obtaining work is a burden for freelance editors.
Due to the relatively sedentary nature of their work, editors are also vulnerable to repetitive motion ailments, including back discomfort and carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally raising the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and potentially cancer is working all day at a desk.
Cons of Editorial Work
Although this mostly relies on the size of the newspaper they work on, editors are generally happy with their job. As a result of their bigger duties, higher pay, and better career growth prospects, editors who work for larger journals frequently express greater job satisfaction than editors who work for smaller magazines.
In terms of professional satisfaction, personal interests and passions also play a significant impact. Although you won’t usually get recognized for your work, editing may be a very satisfying profession because you can improve a text from its worst to its best, assist writers in becoming published, and even help job seekers land a position by ensuring their résumés are free of errors.
Essential Abilities and Traits of Editors
Before you proceed to the next segment of becoming an Editor in 6 easy steps, you are required to know the needed skills to become an Editor. It takes a special kind of person to succeed as an editor, and you’ll need a particular set of both taught talents (skills you can acquire with some practice) and innate attributes (personality traits), in particular:
1. Observation of details
To ensure that even the slightest flaws and inconsistencies in the content are fixed, you must be rigorous in your work as an editor.
2. Logic for solving issues:
Workflows, production timelines, writers, and tasks are bound to cause issues, as they do in most jobs. You will be responsible for recognizing these problems, coming up with suitable solutions, and being able to make important choices.
3. Computer Expertise
Since editors frequently use computers, they must be adept at using word processing and publishing tools. Web content editors, on the other hand, typically also require a fundamental knowledge of HTML coding.
4. Writing Abilities
Because editors frequently need to rework entire sentences or paragraphs, they must also be skilled writers. Additionally, they have a thorough command of grammar and mechanics.
5. Skills In Time Management:
Editors must be able to properly manage their time, stay organized, and prioritize their workload because managing several projects and deadlines is part of the job.
6. Personality Traits:
Direct communication and collaboration with writers, including providing them with helpful criticism, make up a sizable portion of the job.
Becoming an Editor in 6 Easy Steps
It’s time to start getting ready for the voyage ahead now that you are aware of what the job entails and the kinds of talents you’ll need. Read to know the journey of becoming an Editor in 6 easy steps. The actions to take, along with the experience and credentials required, are listed below:
Step 1. Determine if it’s the right job for you
Understanding your interests, objectives, skills, and personality clearly is the first step to taking when selecting a career. This will enable you to focus your career alternatives and assess your readiness to devote the necessary time and energy to becoming an editor (or something else entirely).
Step 2: Pay attention to the proper subjects in school
You should start preparing in high school if you’re serious about becoming an editor.
Utilize English classes to their fullest potential by paying close attention to the grammar, vocabulary, and book formatting. These courses will cover writing, research, and classic and historical literature—all of which are essential for an editing profession.
In the meantime, pay attention to honing your computer abilities because a big part of your job as an editor will include using desktop or electronic publishing software.
Participating in pertinent extracurricular activities like book clubs and creative writing groups is also an excellent idea. Similar to how writing or editing for your school newspaper or magazine can aid in knowledge development and role preparation. Hey! You are just in step 2 of becoming an Editor in 6 easy steps. Read on!
Step 3. Finish a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Without a formal degree, it is still feasible to work as an editor. For instance, you can learn the specialized skills required for the position through in-person or online journalism, editing, or grammar courses. (While there are many free online courses accessible, they probably won’t cover the entire range of subjects covered by paid courses.)
Having said that, earning a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications, or a closely related discipline will greatly increase your employability and pave the road for a career in editing. This is especially true if you’re looking for work in a newspaper or publishing firm, where opportunities are typically only evaluated for degree holders.
Step 4. Take an internship
A paid or unpaid editorial internship with a reputable publication can significantly benefit in your preparation for a career in editing. In fact, you’ll develop your talents, get real-world work experience, and understand the ins and outs of the field and career. It might even result in a permanent position! Hey! You are just in step 4 of becoming an Editor in 6 easy steps. Read on!
Step 5. Consider Pursuing a Master’s Degree
It’s not necessarily essential to earn a postgraduate degree to work as an editor. According to the Occupational Information Network of the Department of Labor, just 17% of jobs actually call for a master’s degree.
For example, a fashion magazine will often seek editors with job experience or a formal degree in fashion. Some companies may also require specific expertise in a field connected to their industry.
Step 6: Join a Trade Organization
Even while it’s entirely voluntary, becoming a member of a professional group is a surefire method to increase your credibility with both employers and clients, especially if you decide against pursuing a formal education to become an editor.
Aside from being a terrific addition to your resume, organization membership also grants you access to conferences, workshops, and certification programs as well as discounts on publication subscriptions and networking opportunities with like-minded individuals. This will be the last of becoming an Editor in 6 easy steps. Thanks for reading through!
Frequently Asked Questions about Editorial Work
Do Editors Earn a Good Living?
The BLS estimates that an editor makes an average yearly pay of $63,400. Depending on where an editor works and the type of editing they do, this can be greater or lower.
What is the Time Commitment to become an Editor?
To become an editor, you need to work for 4 to 6 years.
The additional 1–2 years required to complete graduate publishing or editing degrees or certificates depends on the student. Alternately, you expand your work portfolio while developing your writing and editing abilities.
Who can work as an Editor?
While there are no specialized degrees in editing, there are several writing-intensive schools that might serve as an excellent entry point. A bachelor's degree in a related field, such as English, Journalism, Communications, or even law if you want to work as a legal editor, is typically required of editors.
Who Earns more, the Writer or the Editor?
In general, writers earn more money than editors.
A writer may expect to make roughly $57,000 a year on average, compared to an editor's $51,000.
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