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Book Editor Qualifications

Tulika Nair
So you want to be a book editor? Do you know what the qualifications are? Learn more about the requirements to become a book editor.
Do you have a love for books? Do you get frustrated by the somewhat depreciating quality of books that are being published lately? Ever wished that you had a say in which book is being picked to be published? If your answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, then may be you should say a big hello to the publishing world.
Becoming a book editor may be a great way of ensuring that quality books are published. But what are the requisite qualifications? What do you need to study in order to get a job in a publishing house.

Becoming a Book Editor

What does a book editor do? In a publishing house, he picks the books that he thinks will work with readers, edits them for mistakes, and then helps get the author published. 
It is difficult to point out the exact qualifications that are needed from a person, because there is no specific course that a person can undertake in order to become a book editor with a publishing firm. 
It is advisable though to have degree in English. If you want to become an editor for niche fields, then it would be a good idea to do an advanced course in related fields as it will give you an upper hand during interviews.
One of the most basic qualifications is an inherent love for reading. It is impossible to be a good book editor if you cannot devote a large part of your time reading manuscripts. You will also need to be very patient.
Most book editors are bombarded with hundreds of manuscripts, many of which are poorly written and badly drafted. It is also important for a book editor to have a love for writing as editing books also involves a lot of reviewing and rewriting of manuscripts. As a book editor you will be a part of a large team.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you work well in a team environment. You will be expected to work with the author of the book, the marketing team, the design team, other book editors, and many other such departments. As a team player you will be expected to have excellent communication skills.
As mentioned earlier, qualifications generally list out a degree in English language as a requirement. You need to have impeccable command over the language. You have to be grammatically sound and sure of your spellings. Another important thing included in a job description is the ability to focus on the details. In most cases this is a learned quality.
In a book, it is important to ensure that the writer is not digressing from the main objective. You will need to ensure that there is some form of consistency in the writing. You will also be required to check facts and ensure that there is no form of plagiarism. These are important things that a book editor needs to constantly keep an eye out for.
It is also important for him to have his finger on the pulse of the audience that he is targeting. It is important that he understands which book will work and which won't. Every book holds an appeal for a specific section of the society and proper targeting is crucial.
While most publishing houses have a marketing department, requirements of a book editor generally includes the ability to plan a marketing strategy for the book you are editing. You need to be aware of the latest book buying trends in the market and you will need to have a nose for finding the right books that are sure to be bestsellers.
Now that you know what the requisite qualifications are, you can seriously think of a career in the publishing field, and be responsible for bringing out books that for years to come will be heralded as classics in their own right.