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BOOK PUBLISHING EDITOR, IN-DEPTH: From Rocket Scientist To Book Editor

About this video 

Miranda, an assistant acquisitions editor, describes the challenges of her job, what she likes most, her key decisions, and how to get into the industry. In her job, she has to handle numerous projects in different stages of publication all at once, which can be quite challenging. But she loves when she gets a great new book and she gets to work with the author on a project that she is excited about.

School: Emerson College
Degree: English Language and Literature - Publishing & Writing
Job Title: Assistant Acquisitions Editor
Employer: MIT Press, Environmental Studies

Job Summary: Editors

Job Description

Editors plan, coordinate, and revise material for publication in books, newspapers, magazines, or websites. Editors review story ideas and decide what material will appeal most to readers. They also review and edit drafts of books and articles, offer comments to improve the product, and suggest titles and headlines. In smaller organizations, a single editor may perform all of the editorial duties or share them with only a few other people.

On-the-Job Training

Short-term on-the-job training

Additional Info

Editors can gain experience by working on their high school and college newspapers, or for magazines, radio and television stations, advertising and publishing companies, or not-for-profit organizations.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$30,000 - $100,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
0 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Creativity, Detail oriented, People skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Problem solving skills, Networking, Teamwork

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='240'>One</span> <span m='500'>of the</span> <span m='630'>things</span> <span m='880'>I</span> <span m='1030'>love</span> <span m='1260'>most</span> <span m='1550'>about</span> <span m='1760'>the</span> <span m='1830'>job</span> <span m='2350'>is</span> <span m='2790'>finding</span> <span m='3230'>a</span> <span m='3300'>great</span> <span m='3780'>new</span> <span m='4490'>book</span> <span m='4780'>project</span> <span m='5380'>that</span> <span m='5720'>I'm</span> <span m='5970'>really</span> <span m='6220'>excited</span> <span m='6690'>about,</span> <span m='6900'>that's</span> <span m='7080'>really</span> <span m='7300'>fun.</span> <span m='8180'>A</span> <span m='8260'>lot</span> <span m='8440'>of</span> <span m='8510'>times</span> <span m='9000'>they</span> <span m='9130'>can</span> <span m='9290'>come</span> <span m='9480'>to</span> <span m='9610'>me</span> <span m='9720'>out</span> <span m='9890'>of</span> <span m='9980'>the</span> <span m='10070'>blue,</span> <span m='10990'>unsolicited</span> <span m='11750'>manuscripts,</span> <span m='12270'>which</span> <span m='12460'>means</span> <span m='12740'>I</span> <span m='13230'>didn't</span> <span m='13470'>go</span> <span m='13620'>find</span> <span m='13920'>this</span> <span m='14060'>person,</span> <span m='14450'>they</span> <span m='14600'>found</span> <span m='14990'>me,</span> <span m='15520'>and</span> <span m='15690'>they</span> <span m='15810'>sent</span> <span m='16010'>me</span> <span m='16149'>their</span> <span m='16320'>project,</span> <span m='16820'>and</span> <span m='16990'>I</span> <span m='17070'>loved</span> <span m='17380'>it.</span> <span m='18020'>And</span> <span m='18590'>it's</span> <span m='18750'>really</span> <span m='19000'>fun</span> <span m='19370'>to</span> <span m='19700'>work</span> <span m='20040'>with</span> <span m='20170'>authors</span> <span m='20620'>who</span> <span m='20710'>are</span> <span m='20780'>working</span> <span m='21180'>on</span> <span m='21400'>something</span> <span m='21840'>that</span> <span m='22080'>I'm</span> <span m='22340'>excited</span> <span m='22770'>about,</span> <span m='23130'>but</span> <span m='23220'>it's</span> <span m='23380'>not</span> <span m='23630'>quite</span> <span m='24220'>perfect</span> <span m='24600'>yet.</span> </p><p><span m='25100'>And</span> <span m='25270'>I</span> <span m='25330'>get</span> <span m='25480'>to</span> <span m='25540'>help</span> <span m='25800'>them</span> <span m='26060'>along</span> <span m='26430'>the</span> <span m='26520'>way</span> <span m='26780'>to</span> <span m='26950'>make</span> <span m='27230'>it</span> <span m='27440'>something</span> <span m='27830'>that's</span> <span m='28060'>ready</span> <span m='28370'>to</span> <span m='28450'>be</span> <span m='28570'>published.</span> <span m='29540'>I</span> <span m='29700'>think</span> <span m='29870'>the</span> <span m='29950'>biggest</span> <span m='30280'>challenge</span> <span m='30630'>of</span> <span m='30700'>my</span> <span m='30860'>job</span> <span m='31150'>right</span> <span m='31360'>now</span> <span m='31690'>is</span> <span m='32580'>juggling</span> <span m='33110'>a</span> <span m='33190'>lot</span> <span m='33480'>of</span> <span m='33560'>different</span> <span m='33880'>things</span> <span m='34210'>at</span> <span m='34430'>one</span> <span m='34670'>time.</span> <span m='35370'>So</span> <span m='35430'>there</span> <span m='35600'>are</span> <span m='35620'>a</span> <span m='35700'>lot</span> <span m='35910'>of</span> <span m='35990'>steps,</span> <span m='36560'>and</span> <span m='36750'>there</span> <span m='37010'>are</span> <span m='37050'>a</span> <span m='37330'>lot</span> <span m='37540'>of</span> <span m='37630'>projects</span> <span m='38100'>that</span> <span m='38220'>are</span> <span m='38300'>at</span> <span m='38440'>different</span> <span m='38790'>steps</span> <span m='39130'>all</span> <span m='39420'>at</span> <span m='39520'>the</span> <span m='39540'>same</span> <span m='39800'>time.</span> <span m='40560'>So</span> <span m='42110'>I'll</span> <span m='42250'>be</span> <span m='42370'>reading</span> <span m='42600'>new</span> <span m='42700'>proposals,</span> <span m='43690'>and</span> <span m='44250'>some</span> <span m='44430'>proposals</span> <span m='44940'>I've</span> <span m='45190'>already</span> <span m='45400'>read</span> <span m='45770'>might</span> <span m='45990'>be</span> <span m='46130'>under</span> <span m='46370'>review,</span> <span m='46940'>or</span> <span m='47070'>the</span> <span m='47190'>reviews</span> <span m='47560'>are</span> <span m='47650'>coming</span> <span m='48010'>in.</span> </p><p><span m='48540'>Or</span> <span m='49460'>all</span> <span m='49650'>the</span> <span m='49730'>reviews</span> <span m='50060'>are</span> <span m='50170'>in,</span> <span m='50610'>and</span> <span m='50870'>we're</span> <span m='51040'>ready</span> <span m='51260'>to</span> <span m='51350'>publish</span> <span m='51710'>it,</span> <span m='51910'>so</span> <span m='52180'>I</span> <span m='52260'>want</span> <span m='52460'>to</span> <span m='52510'>get</span> <span m='52630'>a</span> <span m='52670'>contract.</span> <span m='53820'>Or</span> <span m='54970'>all</span> <span m='55260'>that's</span> <span m='55480'>already</span> <span m='55830'>done,</span> <span m='56350'>and</span> <span m='56710'>it's</span> <span m='56880'>time</span> <span m='57280'>to</span> <span m='57760'>get</span> <span m='57930'>the</span> <span m='58020'>manuscript</span> <span m='58450'>ready</span> <span m='58770'>for</span> <span m='58910'>publication</span> <span m='60140'>to</span> <span m='60290'>go</span> <span m='60440'>on</span> <span m='60690'>to</span> <span m='60770'>be</span> <span m='60900'>copy</span> <span m='61270'>edited</span> <span m='61700'>and</span> <span m='61920'>designed,</span> <span m='62680'>and</span> <span m='62980'>go</span> <span m='63160'>into</span> <span m='63320'>production.</span> <span m='64160'>And</span> <span m='64319'>all</span> <span m='64569'>of</span> <span m='64660'>those</span> <span m='64879'>things</span> <span m='65140'>are</span> <span m='65190'>happening</span> <span m='65980'>at</span> <span m='66180'>the</span> <span m='66270'>same</span> <span m='66580'>time,</span> <span m='67330'>different</span> <span m='67650'>projects,</span> <span m='68910'>and</span> <span m='69220'>I</span> <span m='69310'>have</span> <span m='69430'>to</span> <span m='69510'>keep</span> <span m='69660'>track</span> <span m='69910'>of</span> <span m='70010'>all</span> <span m='70180'>of</span> <span m='70260'>them.</span> <span m='70530'>And</span> <span m='70650'>sometimes</span> <span m='71050'>it</span> <span m='71120'>can</span> <span m='71230'>be</span> <span m='71320'>hard.</span> </p><p><span m='72680'>The</span> <span m='72970'>key</span> <span m='73340'>moment</span> <span m='73790'>for</span> <span m='73920'>me</span> <span m='74190'>was</span> <span m='74420'>just</span> <span m='74660'>deciding</span> <span m='75320'>that</span> <span m='75460'>I</span> <span m='76020'>wanted</span> <span m='76660'>to</span> <span m='76750'>be</span> <span m='76940'>an</span> <span m='77040'>editor,</span> <span m='77550'>and</span> <span m='77860'>then</span> <span m='78010'>following</span> <span m='78490'>all</span> <span m='78670'>the</span> <span m='78740'>steps</span> <span m='79010'>along</span> <span m='79260'>the</span> <span m='79350'>way.</span> <span m='79750'>And that</span> <span m='79810'>happened</span> <span m='80620'>when</span> <span m='80880'>I</span> <span m='81000'>was</span> <span m='81200'>in</span> <span m='81300'>high</span> <span m='81470'>school.</span> <span m='83050'>I</span> <span m='83270'>did</span> <span m='83540'>like</span> <span m='84180'>science</span> <span m='84240'>a lot,</span> <span m='84490'>too,</span> <span m='85045'>and</span> <span m='85600'>when</span> <span m='85820'>I</span> <span m='85880'>was</span> <span m='86010'>a</span> <span m='86060'>lot</span> <span m='86430'>younger,</span> <span m='86810'>I</span> <span m='86890'>thought</span> <span m='87110'>I</span> <span m='87190'>wanted</span> <span m='87510'>to</span> <span m='87610'>be,</span> <span m='87800'>like,</span> <span m='88010'>a</span> <span m='88100'>rocket</span> <span m='88460'>scientist,</span> <span m='89010'>because</span> <span m='89110'>that's</span> <span m='89280'>actually</span> <span m='89650'>what my</span> <span m='89780'>grandfather</span> <span m='90280'>does,</span> <span m='90620'>and it</span> <span m='90700'>sounded</span> <span m='90970'>really</span> <span m='91190'>cool.</span> <span m='91910'>But</span> <span m='92470'>I</span> <span m='92610'>got</span> <span m='92900'>really,</span> <span m='93330'>really</span> <span m='93710'>into</span> <span m='93970'>reading</span> <span m='94860'>and</span> <span m='95250'>writing,</span> <span m='95800'>and</span> <span m='96060'>I</span> <span m='96190'>wrote</span> <span m='96490'>some</span> <span m='96990'>really</span> <span m='97310'>strong</span> <span m='97610'>papers.</span> </p><p><span m='98130'>Like</span> <span m='98280'>in</span> <span m='98450'>my</span> <span m='98850'>high</span> <span m='99000'>school</span> <span m='99250'>English</span> <span m='99510'>classes,</span> <span m='100050'>where</span> <span m='100610'>the</span> <span m='100730'>classes</span> <span m='101040'>where</span> <span m='101170'>I</span> <span m='101240'>was</span> <span m='101400'>really</span> <span m='101640'>learning</span> <span m='101950'>to</span> <span m='102130'>write</span> <span m='102550'>analytically</span> <span m='103590'>and</span> <span m='104100'>write</span> <span m='104890'>academic</span> <span m='105450'>sort</span> <span m='105690'>of</span> <span m='105760'>writing,</span> <span m='106220'>write</span> <span m='106410'>professional</span> <span m='106980'>sort</span> <span m='107280'>of</span> <span m='107370'>writing,</span> <span m='108410'>and</span> <span m='110960'>so</span> <span m='111050'>I</span> <span m='111140'>decided</span> <span m='111570'>then</span> <span m='111780'>that</span> <span m='111920'>I</span> <span m='112200'>wanted</span> <span m='112560'>to</span> <span m='112640'>be</span> <span m='112760'>an</span> <span m='112840'>editor.</span> <span m='113850'>Is it</span> <span m='114070'>hard</span> <span m='114410'>to</span> <span m='114510'>get</span> <span m='114640'>a</span> <span m='114690'>job</span> <span m='115020'>in</span> <span m='115130'>this</span> <span m='115360'>field?</span> <span m='116270'>Unfortunately,</span> <span m='117200'>I</span> <span m='117340'>have</span> <span m='117510'>to</span> <span m='117610'>say it</span> <span m='117900'>kind</span> <span m='118340'>of</span> <span m='118470'>is.</span> <span m='119090'>For</span> <span m='119240'>some</span> <span m='119440'>reason</span> <span m='119730'>a</span> <span m='119810'>lot</span> <span m='120000'>of</span> <span m='120050'>people</span> <span m='120560'>want</span> <span m='120860'>to</span> <span m='120910'>get</span> <span m='121080'>into</span> <span m='121300'>publishing.</span> </p><p><span m='121970'>They</span> <span m='122180'>love</span> <span m='122440'>to</span> <span m='122570'>read</span> <span m='122740'>books</span> <span m='123240'>or</span> <span m='123390'>journals,</span> <span m='125100'>or</span> <span m='125190'>magazines,</span> <span m='126030'>and</span> <span m='126130'>they</span> <span m='126210'>really</span> <span m='126430'>want</span> <span m='126600'>to</span> <span m='126670'>do</span> <span m='126910'>it.</span> <span m='127550'>Or</span> <span m='127680'>there</span> <span m='127780'>are</span> <span m='127840'>a</span> <span m='127890'>lot</span> <span m='128039'>of</span> <span m='128100'>people</span> <span m='128350'>out</span> <span m='128460'>there</span> <span m='128630'>with</span> <span m='128750'>liberal</span> <span m='129030'>arts</span> <span m='129300'>degrees</span> <span m='129710'>and</span> <span m='129780'>they're</span> <span m='129889'>not</span> <span m='130070'>sure</span> <span m='130199'>what</span> <span m='130300'>they</span> <span m='130400'>want</span> <span m='130570'>to</span> <span m='130639'>do,</span> <span m='130930'>and</span> <span m='131009'>they</span> <span m='131110'>think</span> <span m='131280'>they</span> <span m='131380'>want</span> <span m='131580'>to</span> <span m='131650'>be</span> <span m='132010'>an</span> <span m='132170'>editor,</span> <span m='132660'>or</span> <span m='132950'>a</span> <span m='133000'>publicist,</span> <span m='133900'>or</span> <span m='134100'>they</span> <span m='134220'>want</span> <span m='134410'>to</span> <span m='134450'>go</span> <span m='134590'>into</span> <span m='134770'>marketing,</span> <span m='135240'>but</span> <span m='135470'>specifically</span> <span m='136010'>for</span> <span m='136180'>books.</span> <span m='136580'>And</span> <span m='136840'>I</span> <span m='136950'>think</span> <span m='137080'>there's</span> <span m='137270'>just</span> <span m='137400'>a</span> <span m='137470'>lot</span> <span m='137740'>of</span> <span m='137800'>demand,</span> <span m='138440'>and</span> <span m='139500'>there</span> <span m='139790'>aren't</span> <span m='140180'>that</span> <span m='140490'>many</span> <span m='140870'>entry</span> <span m='141140'>level</span> <span m='141430'>jobs.</span> <span m='141800'>So</span> <span m='142110'>it</span> <span m='142230'>can</span> <span m='142350'>be</span> <span m='142450'>hard</span> <span m='142730'>to</span> <span m='142820'>get</span> <span m='143040'>them.</span> </p>","file":{"id":372299,"video_id":"3336830773001","name":"2257-Miranda-AsstAcquisEditor2","duration":144173,"thumbnail_url":null}});