Careers in Editorial

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Looking for an entry level job or internship in editorial? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

Random House, Inc. is the world’s largest trade-book publisher. In just the last week they’ve put out titles ranging from John Grisham’s The Last Juror, to Troy Denning’s Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Vortex to Naomi Kleinberg’s Elmo’s Mommy (you know you want to read it!). Because of their long history and outstanding reputation in the publishing world they receive hundred of thousands of unsolicited manuscripts each year from writers hoping to publish with them. The gate-keepers who often decide whether a book gets picked up, or even just further considered, tend to be Editorial Assistants. An Editorial Assistant reads, evaluates, and fixes manuscripts, articles, or films, and performs some administrative tasks.

Editorial Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user theseanster93

Editorial Career Guide Overview

  1. What an Editorial Assistant Does
  2. A Typical Day for an Editorial Assistant
  3. Salary and Career Progression for an Editorial Assistant
  4. Best Locations for Editorial Assistants
  5. Pros and Cons of Being an Editorial Assistant
  6. What You Need to Know to be an Editorial Assistant
  7. Editorial Assistant Resources
  8. Careers Related to Editorial Assistant
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships as an Editorial Assistant

What an Editorial Assistant Does

An Editorial Assistant is an entry-level worker who provides assistance in publishing books, journals, magazines and/or a broad range of publicity materials by supporting Senior Editors with the administration of the commissioning, planning and production. An editorial assistant not only takes on secretarial or general assistant type work, but might also tackle writing and editing. Basically the level of responsibility they’re afforded and the range of tasks depends on the type of publication they work on, as well as the size of the company.

A Typical Day for an Editorial Assistant

While a typical day for an Editorial Assistant varies you might spend your time on some of these tasks:

  • Handling specific titles as delegated by your supervisor from acquisition through publication
  • Laying out, indexing, and revising content of written materials
  • Proofreading, writing, and copyediting
  • Coordinating and tracking submissions and acquisitions
  • Writing book briefs, jacket memos, and copy
  • Attending weekly editorial meetings and planning and focus meetings
  • Fielding questions from authors and agents
  • Updating websites
  • Reading news from different websites
  • Writing articles and reports amending articles
  • Answering phones
  • Photocopying
  • Filing
  • Keeping track of schedules

Salary and Career Progression for an Editorial Assistant

An Editorial Assistant makes $38,850 per year on average. From there you can go on to become an Editor ($27,000-$74,000 per year on average), an Associate Editor, Print ($27,000-$54,000 per year on average), or a Managing Editor ($30,000-$89,000 per year on average).

Best Locations for Editorial Assistants

Here are some hot spots for editorial assistants:

  • San Francisco, California
  • New York, New York
  • Washington, DC
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Indianapolis, Indiana

Pros and Cons of Being an Editorial Assistant

Pros
  • Can be exciting to help push a written work or film to its very best
  • If you enjoy writing and reading it’s a great fit and a great way to get your foot in the door
  • Work with a lot of different people from authors to editors
  • The industry is ripe for innovation (there are now long-form apps, aggregators like Flipboard, etc.)
Cons
  • It’s a popular job so it’s fairly low paying
  • You may have to switch from company to company to move up
  • Administrative tasks can be repetitive

What You Need to Know to be an Editorial Assistant

To be an Editorial Assistant you’ll need a bachelor’s degree most likely in Communications or English. Furthermore you’ll need to have fantastic verbal and written communication skills and be very organized. Experience with computers, like familiarity with Word, Excel, and content management systems, is helpful. To gain experience think about working for your school newspaper, starting your own blog or offering your skills to self-published authors you find on Lulu or Blurb.

Editorial Assistant Resources

If being an editorial assistant still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Key Folks to Follow on Twitter

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Editorial

The Wirecutter Logo

The Wirecutter - The Wirecutter is a site that offers “a list of the best electronics and gadgetry" that will help you make the absolute best purchasing decision.

See the complete The Wirecutter profile


Huckberry Logo

Huckberry - Huckberry is a San Francisco, CA based company that “is like your favorite store, your grandpa’s favorite store, and your favorite magazine all rolled into one.”

See the complete Huckberry profile


Noom Logo

Noom - Noom is an NYC based company that makes healthy living easy by using "cutting-edge technology to accurately monitor your progress and provide expert advice and analysis."

See the complete Noom profile


Northstar Travel Media Logo

Northstar Travel Media - Northstar Travel Media is a Secaucus, NJ based “business information and marketing solutions provider to the $300 billion U.S. travel, tourism and meetings industries.”

See the complete Northstar Travel Media profile


SheKnows Logo

SheKnows - SheKnows is a Scottsdale, AZ based “women’s lifestyle media platform” that “allows brands to distribute authentic content and integrated advertising at scale.”

See the complete SheKnows profile


Fashion Update Logo

Fashion Update - Fashion Update is a New York, NY based company that offers tours that will help you “find designer name merchandise for less than a fraction of the retail cost.”

See the complete Fashion Update profile


StyleCaster Media Group Logo

StyleCaster Media Group - StyleCaster Media Group is based in NYC and aims “to bring style to the people, empowering millions of readers to discover and share their style.”

See the complete StyleCaster Media Group profile


TuneIn Logo

TuneIn - TuneIn is a Palo Alto, CA based company that “enables people to discover, follow, and listen to what’s most important to them — from sports, to news, to music, to talk.”

See the complete TuneIn profile


Trefis Logo

Trefis - Trefis is a Boston, MA based company that has developed a set of tools that “helps you understand how a company’s products impact its stock price.”

See the complete Trefis profile


Stitcher Logo

Stitcher - Stitcher is a San Francisco, CA based company that lets you access “over 20,000+ radio shows and podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, Android or PC–anytime, anywhere.”

See the complete Stitcher profile


Hayneedle Logo

Hayneedle - Hayneedle is based in Omaha, NE and “has become one of the nation’s largest online retailers, offering more than 3,000 brands and nearly 2 million products for the home.”

See the complete Hayneedle profile


Healthline Logo

Healthline - Healthline is a San Francisco, CA based company that has built “the largest, most clinically accurate classification of health information available on the web.”

See the complete Healthline profile


Whalerock Industries Logo

Whalerock Industries - Whalerock Industries, based in Santa Monica, CA, brings together the "best and brightest minds to create world-class content, spanning all mediums and screens.”

See the complete Whalerock Industries profile


Houzz Logo

Houzz - Houzz is a Palo Alto, CA based company that offers “a collaborative platform for home remodeling and design."

See the complete Houzz profile


FierceMarkets Logo

FierceMarkets - FierceMarkets is a Washington, DC based company that specializes in business-to-business media, publications, and marketing.

See the complete FierceMarkets profile


Loverly Logo

Loverly - Loverly is a New York, NY based "one-stop-shop for wedding planning where brides and grooms find ideas, people to hire and things to buy.”

See the complete Loverly profile


Lyft Logo

Lyft - Lyft is a San Francisco, CA based company that offers “on-demand ridesharing” in nearly 20 cities across the country.

See the complete Lyft profile


FaithStreet Logo

FaithStreet - FaithStreet is a New York, NY based company that helps people find a place to worship and helps religious communities find new members and gather donations.

See the complete FaithStreet profile


Well+Good Logo

Well+Good - Well+Good is an NYC based company that was started by two journalists “to answer all the questions friends wanted to know about health, beauty, fitness, and well-being.”

See the complete Well+Good profile


CafeMom Logo

CafeMom - CafeMom is an NYC based digital media company for moms that reaches more than 20 million users every month

See the complete CafeMom profile


Food52 Logo

Food52 - Food52 is a New York, NY based online community that brings “cooks together from all over to exchange recipes and ideas and to support each other in the kitchen.”

See the complete Food52 profile


Black Diamond Equipment Logo

Black Diamond Equipment - Black Diamond Equipment is a Salt Lake City, UT based company that is “all about climbing and skiing.”

See the complete Black Diamond Equipment profile


Society for Science & the Public Logo

Society for Science & the Public - The Society for Science & the Public is a Washington, DC based non-profit that is “dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education.”

See the complete Society for Science & the Public profile


Mirrorball Logo

Mirrorball - Mirrorball is a New York, NY based consumer engagement agency “that connects brands and people through a fusion of social media and live experience.”

See the complete Mirrorball profile


Upworthy Logo

Upworthy - Upworthy curates online content that is both awesome and meaningful. They call themselves “a mission-driven media company.”

See the complete Upworthy profile


Oxford University Press Logo

Oxford University Press - Oxford University Press is “the world’s largest university press with the widest global presence” and has U.S. offices in New York, NY and Cary, NC.

See the complete Oxford University Press profile


Bedrocket Media Ventures Logo

Bedrocket Media Ventures - Bedrocket Media Ventures is a New York, NY based company "leading a revolution in creating networks and programming that people love, delivered through the cloud.”

See the complete Bedrocket Media Ventures profile


I Will Teach You To Be Rich Logo

I Will Teach You To Be Rich - I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a business that was started by Ramit Sethi to help people achieve their career and financial dreams.

See the complete I Will Teach You To Be Rich profile


ALOHA Logo

ALOHA - ALOHA is an NYC based, health focused startup that “combines traditional wisdom from diverse cultures across the globe with the latest scientific research."

See the complete ALOHA profile


Digital First Media Logo

Digital First Media - Digital First Media is an NYC based group of news-focused companies that reaches “61 million Americans each month across 18 states.”

See the complete Digital First Media profile


Wedding Party Logo

Wedding Party - Wedding Party is a Palo Alto, CA based company that offers an app that allows you to “capture all the amazing photos from your wedding.”

See the complete Wedding Party profile


PureWow Logo

PureWow - PureWow is based in NYC and offers a "free daily email for stylish women of substance, featuring the very best in culture, fashion, travel, tech & so much more!"

See the complete PureWow profile


Wiley Logo

Wiley - Wiley is a Hoboken, NJ based “global publishing company that specializes in academic publishing and markets."

See the complete Wiley profile


Grovo Logo

Grovo - Grovo is an NYC based company that “produces one-minute video lessons covering every change to the world’s most popular websites, mobile apps and online tools.”

See the complete Grovo profile


Visual Revenue Logo

Visual Revenue - Visual Revenue is a New York, NY based company that helps editorial teams figure out what readers respond to and react to it in real time.

See the complete Visual Revenue profile


Better Government Association Logo

Better Government Association - The Better Government Association, a Chicago, IL based non-profit that “works for integrity, transparency, and accountability in government."

See the complete Better Government Association profile


Smart Asset Logo

SmartAsset - SmartAsset is a New York, NY based company that provides “all the information and analysis you need to make the best possible financial decisions.”

See the complete SmartAsset profile


Real Change Logo

Real Change - Real Change is a Seattle, WA based non-profit that provides "opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic justice.”

See the complete Real Change profile


FabFitFun Logo

FabFitFun - FabFitFun is a Los Angeles, CA based company that offers “free daily emails filled with the latest and greatest in beauty, fitness, diet and wellness.”

See the complete FabFitFun profile


The Echo Nest Logo

The Echo Nest - The Echo Nest is a Somerville, MA based company, and they “provide the largest repository of dynamic music data in the world" with 30 trillion data points.

See the complete The Echo Nest profile


Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Logo

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation - Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is a Wynnewood, PA based non-profit that has raised millions of dollars to find cures for pediatric cancers.

See the complete Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation profile


Advantage Business Media Logo

Advantage Business Media - Advantage Business Media is a Rockaway, NJ based “digital business-to-business information company” that “has successfully transitioned" from print to digital.

See the complete Advantage Business Media profile


Business Insider Logo

Business Insider - Business Insider is “dedicated to aggregating, reporting, and analyzing the top news stories across the web and delivering them to you at rapid-fire pace.”

See the complete Business Insider profile


1stdibs Logo

1stdibs - 1stdibs is a New York, NY based company that runs an online marketplace for “the most beautiful things on earth" (antiques, jewelry, fine art, etc.).

See the complete 1stdibs profile


1105 Media Logo

1105 Media - 1105 Media is a Chatsworth, CA based company that “provides integrated business-to-business information and media.”

See the complete 1105 Media profile


Newscred Logo

NewsCred - NewsCred is an NYC based company that "sources and licenses trusted content across a broad range of subjects and perspectives.”

See the complete NewsCred profile


Sanky Communications Logo

Sanky Communications - Sanky Communications is a New York, NY based company that “has launched successful marketing programs for more than 100 nonprofit organizations.”

See the complete Sanky Communications profile


Imagination Publishing Logo

Imagination Publishing - Imagination Publishing is a Chicago, IL based "custom content agency" that helps companies engage new and current customers through content.

See the complete Imagination Publishing profile


C-4 Analytics Logo

C-4 Analytics - C-4 Analytics is based in Saugus, MA and they offer services ranging from social media strategy to SEO to advertising analytics.

See the complete C-4 Analytics profile


BUZZMEDIA Logo

BUZZMEDIA - Pop culture is like a drug, and BUZZMEDIA is a dealer. They run more than 40 web properties, and they're hiring.

See the complete BUZZMEDIA profile



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