You don’t need to spend years and years of continuous struggle to become a skilled book editor. Having a proper plan can help you streamline your journey of becoming an editor and allow you to get success faster. 

This blog contains ten actionable tips that will help you develop your personalized plan for becoming an editor – keep reading to find out more!

  1. Join a Course

You can start by exploring online discourse and resources to find out about all aspects of becoming and being a book editor. But exploring things yourself can take a lot of time and effort. It’s better to get under the wing of a skilled editor so you can enhance your skills faster. 

An experienced editor can allow you to unlock your inner potential for editing. Besides that, joining an editing course will help you develop a healthy competition with other aspiring editors as well. 

You don’t necessarily need to join in-person editing classes. If you have a tight daily schedule, you can consider enrolling in an online editing course. 

  1. Identify Your Genre

Not choosing a proper genre at the start of your journey will only make things difficult for you down the lane. If you want to boost your editing skills faster, you should put time and effort into exploring different literary genres and choosing the one that suits you most. 

For example, if you love reading self-help books, then it would be a great choice to become an editor of self-help books. 

Having an in-depth understanding of the genre you choose as an editor will also help you in the long run. Consider getting in touch with experts of the genre you choose so you can nail your job as an editor. 

  1. Explore the Market

Knowing how the dynamics in the editing industry work will ensure that you don’t struggle with challenges in the long run. For example, you should know the standard editing rates so you find it easier to give editing quotes to clients. 

Finding out about the market dynamics is not a difficult thing. You can start by exploring online listings for book editors. Reading some listings can help you understand the specific requirements that people look for in editors and how you can make yourself stand out. 

  1. Become an Assistant Editor

The simplest way you can enhance your editing skills faster is by securing your place as an assistant editor. Learning from a skilled editor who has edited some of the famous titles will allow you to understand the “hidden tactics” for editing the right way. 

Landing a job/internship as an assistant editor is not a difficult task. You can start by exploring online portals to find your job as an assistant editor. When asking for a job, make sure you send a persuasive cover letter attached to your CV to increase your chances of getting hired as an assistant editor. 

  1. Build Your Network

Networking is one of the best things you can do to start your journey as an editor. By having the right people in your network, you will increase your chances of landing the right editing jobs that you find interesting. 

Growing your network is not something that is going to take a lot of time. You can start by joining the local club of editors to get in touch with amateur and skilled editors in no time. Besides that, you can also check online groups to find editors who can help you on your journey. 

  1. Strengthen Your Portfolio

Lacking a proper portfolio will only stop you from landing the right opportunities as an editor. To ensure that you find a good editing job faster, you should start focusing on your portfolio. Having a strong editing portfolio will allow you to showcase your skills the right way. 

You don’t necessarily need to develop a website to have all your editing works in one place. It’s recommended to list the links to all your portfolios in one online sheet. However, if you want to sharpen your tech skills, you should develop a simple website to strengthen your personal brand. 

  1. Avoid Perfectionism

There’s no denying that you should try your best to improve your editing skills in the long run. However, if you stick with the idea of becoming a “perfect editor,” you will only slow down your progress. This is why you should be careful of perfectionism taking control of you. 

Be mindful of the shortcomings you have as an editor and try improving little by little instead of making things hard for yourself. 

  1. Read Books on Editing

A great way to understand how a skilled editor thinks is by reading books on editing. These books will help you figure out how to edit the right way and how to meet the expectations of your clients. Some of the famous books for editing are:

  • What Editors Do – Peter Ginna 
  • Max Perkins: Editor of Genius – A. Scott Berg
  • The Subversive Copy Editor – Carol Fisher Saller
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell
  • The Emotion Thesaurus – Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – Renni Browne and Dave King 
  • The Copyeditor’s Handbook – Amy Einsohn and Marilyn Schwartz

You don’t need to buy all these books to learn editing skills faster. Read reviews of these editing books online to choose the one that suits you most. 

  1. Enhance Your Communication Skills

Struggling with communication skills will stop you from landing the right editing gigs. This is why you should be mindful of your communication skills and try learning to communicate the right way. You can join online courses to get better at communication faster. 

  1. Learn How to Set Contracts

It’s important to learn how you should create and manage contracts with your clients. Try exploring online tools that can help you make contracts and keep up with the deadlines. Besides that, you can also get help from established editors to learn the right way of creating and managing contracts. 

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