Book Editors

An Editor Going Through a Proofread Manuscript

Book editors acquire and prepare written material for publication in book form. Such formats include trade books (fiction and nonfiction), textbooks, and technical and professional books (which include reference books). A book editor's duties may include contracting for and evaluating a manuscript, accepting or rejecting it, rewriting, correcting spelling and grammar, researching, and fact checking. Book editors may also work directly with printers in arranging for proofs and with artists and designers in arranging for illustrations and determining the physical specifications of the book.

Approximately 50,550 editors work for book, newspaper, and magazine publishers in the United States. Book editors are employed at small and large publishing houses, book packagers (companies that subcontract book production for larger publishing houses), associations, and government agencies.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Ensure that text provided by writers is suitable in content, format, and style for the intended audiences; edit publications; work with authors and writers
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, metropolitan areas (such as New York and Chicago)
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • English
  • Journalism
Experience One to three years' experience
Personality Traits
  • Creative
  • Enterprising
  • Problem-Solving
  • Information Management
  • Organizational
  • Writing
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Decline
Career Ladder
  • Editorial Director or Self-Employed
  • Managing Editor
  • Book Editor
  • Copy Editor
  • Editorial Assistant or Proofreader