Also typically known as acquiring or commissioning editor. Acquisitions Editors are responsible for reviewing manuscripts, commissioning authors for specific publications, and making the important decision of whether a manuscript is marketable.
They are the ‘head-hunters’ of the literary world. What these editors do can be learned, but there is an innate intuition that comes with the field that dictates the truly great editors from the average. This innate intuition is the ability to not only discern what is popular in the market, but foresee what the next big thing is. This aspect is not something that can be learned, but rather an instinct.
The job of an acquisitions editor can be divided into 4 parts:
Salary and Benefits
Acquisition Editors, commonly known as Commissioning Editors, make $65,000-$80,000 as a starting point. Additionally, based on the individual Publishing house and their specific department performance, there is a chance of receiving a bonus.
How to Become an Acquisitions Editor
There are several ways to become an Acquisitions editor. The best process is slow, but steady and along the way, you will meet helpful colleagues, learn new techniques and collect all the possible knowledge to prepare you for the world of Acquisitions editing. Connections are very important to make in the publishing industry.
1) Begin at the Bottom
2) Find a Mentor
3) Work as a Literary Agent
4) Get some Freelance work
5) Start a small publishing house
Current Topics in the Industry Today
The rise and accessibility of e-books and e-readers is causing the publishing industry to evolve based on consumer demand. The headline “E-book sales are up. Print sales are down.” is nothing new, however recent research indicates that newspaper headlines are not telling the whole story. Consumers are not completely abandoning print books in favor of the latest technology, as was once thought. Even though e-book sales rose by 117% last year while print sales fell by almost 36%, avid readers continue to split their purchases between the two formats.
Consumers desire books that are formatted to best suit their needs. Certain genres, such as children’s books and cookbooks, remain very popular in print format. At this point in time, hardcover and paperback books are still serving their purposes for these two genres, and readers will not make the switch to a digital medium until the advantages of e-books and e-readers surpass those of paper books. The publishing industry continues to adapt as technology advances to satisfy readers.
Links for Further Reading