Editorial Assistant

Entry Level // Editorial Department

What does an Editorial Assistant do?

An Editorial Assistant provides administrative support to the editorial team (including writing minutes, invoicing and diary management) and throughout the editorial process from manuscript to publication.

This can include reading manuscripts, sending out proofs and finished copies, responding to authors and working with colleagues and freelancers (both in the UK and overseas) to ensure everything runs smoothly, organising files like cover artwork, and supporting the day-to-day running of the office by answering calls and emails.

They also support the editorial team by reading submissions, writing copy for catalogues, covers and title information sheets, creating PowerPoint presentations, desk editing and copy editing.

What is an Editorial Assistant good at?

  • Enthusiastic; passionate about the publisher’s whole list, from the commercial frontlist titles to the obscure backlist and vice versa
  • Techy; excellent IT skills including knowledge of Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Proactive; quick to respond to emails and calls as well as being able to work well under pressure
  • Collaborative; a strong team player and excellent communicator who enjoys interacting with a range of people
  • Organisation; ability to plan ahead and juggle priorities across multiple projects with a meticulous eye for detail

Who does an Editorial Assistant work with?

An Editorial Assistant reports to the Managing Editor, Publisher or Editorial Director, and they also work with the rest of the editorial team as well as colleagues in the marketing and publicity departments.

How do I become an Editorial Assistant?

As an entry-level role, you don’t need any experience to become an editorial assistant. However, it helps to have done an internship, student placement or work experience.

You could take a proofreading or editing course, like the ones offered by the The Publishing Training Centre.

With experience, you could progress to more senior editorial roles such as Assistant Editor or Commissioning Editor, or work on a freelance basis. 

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