Assistant Editor

Experienced Level // Editorial Department

What does an Assistant Editor do?

An Assistant Editor’s main role is to assist the publisher and commissioning editor with development and delivery of a manuscript.

Assistant Editors work closely with authors and editors, supporting the editor with admin help and coordinating with other departments such as sales and production. They can be responsible for ‘author care’ – making sure that the author feels listened to and respected.

Their editorial duties might include structural or line edits on some projects. A structural edit is reorganising the structure of the book so that it reads better, and a line edit make sure that the use language services the story in the best way possible.

They also write copy (such as the blurb on the back of a book) and proofread manuscripts, working with the author to make sure that any comments or corrections are passed from them to the production team, making sure that any changes are reflected in the revised proofs.

They also work closely with colleagues in design or freelance designers, writing the briefs for the cover design.

What is an Assistant Editor good at?

  • Creativity; innovative, passionate about great storytelling and always on the look out for new authors
  • Communication; able to communicate with authors, their team and colleagues from other departments 
  • Organisation; excellent attention to detail and able to balance a variety of tasks, making sure the overall project is delivered on time

Who does an Assistant Editor work with?

An Assistant Editor usually reports to an editor and works closely with the publisher and commissioning editor in their team. They also liaise with other colleagues in different departments as well as looking after relationships with authors.

How do I become an Assistant Editor?

This is usually a step up from Editorial Assistant and a great way for you to hone your editorial skills. In addition to previous experience in editorial, you’ll need to have knowledge of the subject area. For example, if you want to work for a non-fiction publisher, you’ll need a strong knowledge base of the non-fiction genre.

Learn more about what it’s like to be an Assistant Editor: