On being an Editorial Assistant [part 1]

Editorial Assistant

This is a guest post from Norah Myers. Norah studied publishing in London at City University and worked for Picador and Bloomsbury before returning to Canada. She worked for a boutique literary agency before moving to an independent publisher of fiction and nonfiction. She loves yoga, books, and endless cups of tea. @bookish_norah

1. What do you do as an editorial assistant?

I create crowd funding campaigns to help authors raise the funds needed to publish their books. I acquire new authors, read and assess incoming unsolicited manuscripts, and edit manuscripts.

2. Is it how you’d imagined it would be?

Not at all. Having worked in corporate environments previously, I imagined it would be 95% administration for at least the first year (as my previous work as a magazine editorial assistant was mostly administration). I like that I get to work with authors in a more personal manner right away.

3. What have you learned in your first month?

That more than half of my job as an editor is – and will be – managing author expectations. I manage author expectations on everything from story development to video costing to book scheduling.

4. What’s been the most enjoyable part so far?

I’ve had some great banter back and forth with a really funny British author. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her and helping her develop both her funding campaign and each of the stories she wants to write.

5. What are you most looking forward to?

Improving my copy-editing skills, writing a full manuscript evaluation in the house style, and attending a book launch for an author whose campaign I helped design and fund

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