If you love to read and have a knack for editing, then becoming a book editor may be a dream job for you! The job entails reading through drafts of books (both good and not-so-good books) to first decide whether the book should be published, and if so, correcting any grammatical mistakes in the book. If this seems right up your alley, then consider these tips on how to become a book editor.
Get a proper education. The first step to becoming a book editor is educating yourself. You need a college or university degree, at the least. Plan on specializing in English Literature if you want to increase your chances of landing a book editing job. A Master's degree in English Literature will give you more knowledge, but it's not often required of most book publishing companies.
Have passion for books and interest in the industry. Along with a solid education, a book editor must also have an interest in his job. He must have read a lot of books prior to becoming a book editor, in order to create a solid base of literary knowledge. Plus, he should also have an appreciation for a well-written book in any genre. Book editors often specialize in certain subject matters or genres too. So it's good to have a specialty in either one of these if you're planning on becoming a book editor. (For example, if you hate to cook and don't know how to make toast, then you probably shouldn't pursue a career editing cookbooks. There's likely a better genre for you to edit.)
Apply for work. With a good education and a passion for books, you're ready to start applying to book editing jobs. Check out the websites of publishing houses to see if they are hiring any editors. Pay special attention to the type or genre of book editing required. Not every book editing job will be for you, so it's okay to pass on a job until the perfect one comes along. Contact these publishing companies to inquire about any other book editor jobs not listed on the website. And then be sure to submit an up-to-date résumé and cover letter to the person in charge of hiring at that company. You need to ensure that your cover letter is personalized for each separate company that you're applying to. By showing them that you have done your research on their particular company and that you possess the particular skills they mentioned in the job posting, you'll have a better chance of getting the job and becoming a book editor.