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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.
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.
While a typical day for an Editorial Assistant varies you might spend your time on some of these tasks:
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).
Here are some hot spots for editorial assistants:
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.
If being an editorial assistant still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
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