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Bailey Bowe

Career and Industry Forecast

Date: September 9, 2016

Subject: Book Editing and Writing


"Book Editor Careers: Job Description & Salary Information." N.p.,
n.d. Web. 12

Sept. 2016.

"Summary." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 Dec.
2015. Web. 12

Sept. 2016.

"How Do I Become a Book Editor?" N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.

Job Title: Editor / Author

Job Description: Book editors can either work for a company or do freelance work.
Although working for a company is more stable, it also usually requires living in a
busy metropolitan area and working in a busy office. However, both freelance and
company driven editors are required to essentially do the same thing, read through
countless manuscripts to find one that has the promise of selling well. Then, once a
manuscript has been chosen, an editor works closely with the author to edit
grammar, sentence structure, plot development, and plot holes in order to get the
book boiled down into the best it can possibly be. A close relationship with the
author is a necessity to be sure that the book continues to reflect the author’s
vision, it can also help speed the process up because of the increase in
Being an author can be considered an unstable career path, which is why
many authors decide to pursue editing alongside being an author. It requires
putting a lot of time and effort into writing out a manuscript and a willingness to
take criticism from an editor in order it get the novel to its best version.

Training, Education, and Certification: Although nothing is absolutely required
to become an editor, it is recommended that one has a BA in English,
communications, or journalism. Being knowledgeable in technology is also a major
factor in this industry considering over time it is shifting in that direction. Most
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communications now are done through email, skype, calling or even texting so
being educated in that area is very important to being successful in this career field.
While being an author also doesn’t require any specific major or degree. It’s
recommended to have a background in English literature as it increases the chance
of the manuscript being accepted.

College, Post- High School, and High School Recommended Courses: It’s
recommended to take challenging and rigorous English courses throughout high
school and into college. It could also be beneficial to take creative writing courses
throughout these years. The most important thing is to continuously write, it
provides the necessary practice and experience that is needed to successfully write
and edit a book. In addition, by writing and reading more book it is easier to tell
what sells and what is perceived by the public well, and what doesn’t.

National and Local Professional Organizations: The National Writers
Association, The Authors Guide, and The National Writers Union are some of the
writing organizations that exist in the USA for writers and editors.

Related Areas: Some careers that work closely to editors and authors are literary
agents, publishers, and ghost writers.

Salary: The salary of an editor covers a wide range, this due to the variety of ways
to complete the job. Freelance editors are more likely to have a small salary simply
because they do not have a steady reliable income, but rather getting paid from job
to job. By working for a publishing press, you generally will receive better pay and
have a steadier reliable work flow to go off of. The pay ranges from about $28,000
(the bottom 10%) to $109,000 (the top 10%) and had a median pay of $56,010 in
May 2015.

Career Outlook: Although it seems as if the book industry is dying down quickly,
because of technology and the rise of eBooks it’s only declining at about a rate of 2-
5% by between 2012 and 2022.

Terminology: Certain phrases are used by editors and authors during different
parts of the publishing process to help clarify things. To be an editor one must
become familiar with words such as manuscript, copy-editing, and developmental-
editing. A manuscript is essentially an unpublished book; this is what is sent to a
publishing press for consideration before it is accepted. A copy-editor is the editor,
usually an intern or an entry level job, is simply an editor that focuses on
grammatical mistakes in a manuscript. A developmental-editor focuses on plot
holes, character development, or if it's non-fiction they check facts and the layout of
the book as a whole.
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This career/industry forecast has helped me gain more insight into the field of
editing and writing, I now feel more prepared and knowledgeable about what to
expect from this topic choice. While researching, I learned more about what I
should do in college to prepare, organizations that relate to writing, other careers
that are similar or work with editors and authors, salary, and how the job field is
going to look in the future. All of these things combined have given me a better
idea of how to be successful in this field.
Firstly, I found out that I have several options when it comes to a degree.
Although the most obvious option is a BA in English, degrees in communications or
journalism are widely accepted too. While I think I am still most interested in
getting an English degree, it is good to know my options in case something changes
in the future.
Another thing I wasn’t aware of before this forecast was the abundance of
writing organizations that exist to help writers around the world. These
organizations provide resources and help to writers that need it. They are also good
places to network and find other professionals that relate to a topic you’re working
on or could offer insight for future or aspiring authors.
Next I found more careers that are related to editing and writing. Literary
agents and publishers are two other jobs that work closely to editors and authors.
Literary agents work to find authors and help them find a press that will agree to
editing and publish their book and publishers oversee the final steps of the
publishing process and make sure it will benefit the company as a whole. Both of
these are very attractive jobs to me, and are now great options for the future.
The salary was an interesting thing to research for this assessment, as I didn't
expect it to have such a wide range. Although when I looked more closely at the
reasoning behind the wide range, it made much more sense and it helped me
understand what options I had. Editors that do freelance work tend to make less
money, while highly valued editors for big name companies tend to be the ones to
make more money.
Also, when I started looking at how the field is going to progress in the future,
I expected to see a huge decrease in job opportunities, but it was actually only a
slight decrease of about 2-5%. While that is still not the best situation, it is far
better than expected. Seeing that it was still decreasing, I feel more determined to
make sure I am one of the successful ones that secures a job in this industry.
This forecast assessment has gotten me to evaluate and understand all
aspects of this job before I have to completely commit to it, and now that I have
looked at this information, I feel more certain than ever that this is what I am
passionate about and am determined to do in my future. Now that I have a fuller
understanding of what the job entails, I can use this information while interviewing
or interviewing with professionals in this field. Overall, this assessment as had an
extremely positive effect on my motivation, drive, and understanding of book
editing and writing.
Bailey Bowe

Pros and Cons of a Book Editor Career
As a book editor, you're in charge of making sure each book is well-written with clean copy.
Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of a book editing career to decide if this
is the right job for you.

Pros of a Becoming a Book Editor

Growing electronic books industry ($119.7 million in sales during


Potential for high salary (top 10% earned about $109,000 in 2014)*

Technology allows some work to be completed outside of the office*

Greater opportunities for those with digital media skills*

Cons of Becoming a Book Editor

Slight decline in growth (2% decline projected from 2012-2022)*

Deadline pressures can lead to long work hours*
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Most positions are located in major media markets (New York, Los, Angeles, Chicago, Boston,

Washington, D.C.)*

Freelance editors may have trouble finding consistent work*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **International Digital Publishing Forum.



● Summary
● What They Do
● Work Environment
● How to Become One
● Pay
● Job Outlook
● State & Area Data
● Similar Occupations
● More Info

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Editors plan, coordinate, and revise material for publication.

Quick Facts: Editors

$56,010 per year
2015 Median Pay
$26.93 per hour

Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation Less than 5 years

On-the-job Training None

Number of Jobs, 2014 117,200

Job Outlook, 2014-24 -5% (Decline)

Employment Change, 2014-24 -6,200

What Editors Do
Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.
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Work Environment
Although most editors work in offices, a growing number now work remotely from home. The work can be
stressful because editors often have tight deadlines.

How to Become an Editor
Proficiency with computers and a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English are
typically required to become an editor.

The median annual wage for editors was $56,010 in May 2015.

Job Outlook
Employment of editors is projected to decline 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, as print media continue to
face strong pressure from online publications. Competition for jobs with established newspapers and
magazines will be particularly strong.

How Do I Become a Book Editor?
Explore the career requirements for book editors. Get the facts about education
requirements, salary and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.
Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular

Career Information At a Glance
The primary duty of a book editor is to read manuscripts in order to provide feedback on
whether the book should be published. Most employers seek editors with formal training.
An overview of requirements, as well as career data is provided in the table below:

Training Bachelor's degree
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Field of Journalism, communications, English

Key Read book proposals and drafts; edit content and confirm
Responsibi facts for publication; communicate with other editors and
lities authors

-2% (for all editors)*

Salary $62,800 editors for books, newspapers and directory*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Skills Do I Need to Become a Book Editor?
As a book editor, your job may vary based upon your employer, according to the
Occupational Information Network ( Your main job may be to
review proposals for books and decide whether or not to purchase the author's publication
rights, so you may need strong decision-making and communication skills. Since most
book publishing companies use numerous computer programs, you may need to be
familiar with computer graphics, publishing, editing and Web design programs.

In addition to having strong writing and interpersonal abilities, you must also be highly
organized and detail-oriented. If you're seeking a senior book editor position, jobs posted
for that title on the Association of American Publishers, Inc. job board as of January 2011
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suggest you may need a minimum of 5-7 years of experience in the book publishing
industry (

What Education Requirements Do I Need?
Although there is no set educational path to become a book editor, the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics (BLS) states that you typically need at least a bachelor's degree in English,
journalism or communications ( English and journalism programs may teach
you to how to articulate and compose yourself through writing. You may also be able to
develop a portfolio of your writing samples, which you could submit for internships or jobs.
Some communications bachelor's degree programs may be offered in conjunction with
journalism programs and focus more on news reporting and writing, ethics, media and
public policy.

What about Experience?
The Occupational Information Network states that most editors begin their careers as
writers and then work their way up in the field. You can garner experience in high school
or college by editing your school's newspaper or yearbook, both of which may help you in
your path to become a book editor. Some universities and colleges may offer co-ops or
internships at magazines, newspapers or book publishers where you can obtain first-hand
experience in the industry and network with other contacts outside of the university. Once
you graduate, you may be able to secure an entry-level editing or writing position; after a
few years, you may be able to become a book editor.