Though commercialization and mass publication has made the job of a book editor a bit difficult than before, still they have a lot of scope to use their skills, thanks to a few publishing houses which still believe in the importance of quality over quantity. The job of a book editor as you may have reckoned from the job title – is to edit a book. They are often referred to as the “fat skimming” lot! Interesting nickname that! If you’re planning to be a book editor then you must have an inherent quality of having an eye for details. You must instinctively know what to keep and what to get rid of so that the manuscript which is handed over to you goes back to the writer as a complete and finished product.
A book editor is also expected to have a lot of patience in order to deal with various kinds of writers and they also must be well-read and knowledgeable so that they are capable of understanding the perspective of the writer when they are editing the book. There must be a lot of mutual respect and understanding between the editor and the writer so that none feels that there work will not be appreciated by the other.
In simple words, if reading books is something that you can’t just do without then this is the perfect job for you as you will be expected to do just that. Along with that you should have a flair for language. Playing with words and grasping the feel of a situation in the perfect words are things which you need to master if you wish to hone your book editing skills.
Book editors are not just professionals who read manuscripts and get them published. They also discover new talents and help them to create their own target audience, based on which the writer will rise from anonymity to fame. In other words, you also have the responsibility of polishing off the rough edges from the writer’s work and present them as masterpieces. When you are able to do these without much effort, you will have mastered the art the book editing as well!