How To Become An Acquisitions Editor?

Posted in Career Blog

An Acquisitions Editor is a professional who not only acquires books for publishing houses but she or she, also needs to sell the book to editors and marketing people on the staff of the publishing house. When an acquisitions editor has singled out a potential good manuscript, he or she will have to ‘sell’ (convince) the editors and the marketing staff of the publishing house that it is a good acquisition for the company. There are many ways one could become an Acquisitions Editor, here is the best process:

1. Begin at The Bottom
At the outset you will have to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in English, if you are planning on working with the English publishing industry, if not a Master’s Degree. Then you will have to start at the bottom of the industry working as an apprentice as there is no short-cut to the top in this line of work.

2. Find a Mentor
Single out a few acquisition editors in places you would like to work and ask them to take you on as their apprentice. Try to get in just for the experience, take it as an investment in your education. Once you have just a few months experience working as an apprentice with an acquisitions editor you will be able to demand at least a stipend from others if you are not getting one already. Look around, you cannot work for free indefinitely.

3. Work as a Literary Agent
If you want to make inroads in the acquisitions field of the publishing industry you do not have to pick up the threads, or master the techniques working for a publishing house. You could do this working as a literary agent as well. As a literary agent you will be sifting through the books for publication and selecting the best for the publication house. This is similar to acquiring books for publication.

4. Get Some Freelance Work
If you cannot bag a position as an apprentice with an established acquisitions editor you should consider going the freelance way. This will include helping start-up authors get their book into shape before selling it to publishers and editors. This way you will get to meet new publishers and editors through the people you are helping.

5. Start a Small Publishing House
Set up your own small publishing house and work on a print-on-demand basis. This way you can help authors publish their work and at the same time make a mark with existing publishing houses. Basically they want to see some level of ability in an applicant before taking them on and what is better than showing them through results! By printing on demand you sell books when they are ordered and do not have to print thousands of books and risk them not being sold.

6. Advertise
If you are in the publishing business what good is it if you cannot publish your own abilities as an acquisitions editor? Get down to writing bout your subject and post your writings to all the internet sites and try to get them published in newspapers and magazines now and then. This will help you make your presence known in the industry along with your efforts of establishing yourself through the various other tactics mentioned above.

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