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Qualities of a professional editor and how to choose a trustworthy expert

How many famous names among writers, poets, reporters! These people are in plain sight, they are known, their names are written on the covers of books. The work of the editor is less visible, but in many ways it is to him/her that celebrities owe their fame.

The editor has a variety of tasks. S/he may be responsible for the publication of periodicals or Internet resources and for their design, or s/he may edit books before they are published. But it is always the editor who bears the main responsibility for how to deal with these editions, whether there will be factual slipups, whether they will become attractive. In short, the editor is the main person in the publishing house, whatever it may be.

Qualities of a professional editor and how to choose a trustworthy expert

It so happens that a person is endowed with the gift of writing poetry or prose, brilliant plots come to his mind, but it is far from being so good to bring them to life: either the style is lame, then there is not enough knowledge, or even just with the spelling of the problem. And then the editor comes to the rescue, saving a talented work as a whole. Would you say that this is not creative work? And you will be wrong. And what a creative one, because in order to get a really good work at the output, you need not only to understand the material, but also to imbue with the author's style, so as not to spoil the atmosphere he created. And this applies not only to fiction. The editor of a newspaper, magazine or online publication must thoroughly delve into everything that is written there, and be responsible for every letter, every illustration and every word.

Often, the profession of an editor requires a person to have a lot of restraint and nerves of steel, because you have to not only edit someone's texts, but also sometimes arguing oneself hoarse with the authors who believe that before the edits the text was much better, and the editor only ruined everything. And proving your innocence to an angry master of the pen can be an uneasy task - creative people are very emotional and not always inclined to listen to other people, even if these people are professionals of their craft.

Description of an editor as an occupation

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An editor is a person who prepares for the publication of periodicals, printed or Internet publications, or books. Oftentimes, organizational work lies with the specialist: s/he needs to coordinate the work of the department or the entire editorial office as a whole, deal with all kinds of documents, and also interact with staff and freelance employees (reporters, designers, photographers, etc. others).

If we are talking about an art editor, then s/he is responsible for the design of the publication: s/he selects illustrations for the materials, if necessary, orders photographs or pictures.

The editor must control not only the content of the publication entrusted to him or her, but also the literacy of the texts. Therefore, in the course of work, s/he is also obliged to interact with proofreaders, but often, especially in small editions, it happens that the editor combines his duties and the proofreader, making both factual and stylistic edits, and correcting grammatical and syntactic errors.

This work is by no means easy, it requires, firstly, a huge stock of knowledge - publishing, organization of production, special knowledge on the topic of publication, as well as impeccable literacy and a sense of literary and artistic styles. Secondly, this is a huge responsibility, because in the event of any miscalculations, they call on not the authors, but the editor. But at the same time, the activity is incredibly exciting and creative.


An editor is quite of a broad category, and it is rarely this word that can be seen in someone's work book. This profession has a number of specializations. Here are tips for those who consider learning a trade and want to know who is who.

A literary editor is engaged in checking the texts of printed or Internet publications for various kinds of errors, and is responsible for the text sent to print (posted on the network). The work requires a deep knowledge of the language in which the publication is published, as well as factual material on the subject of the publication.

An art editor works on the design of the publication, organizes the work of designers, layout designers, artists, photographers.

A technical editor must thoroughly understand the printing and papermaking business, it is s/he who directly interacts with the printing house, makes the layout of the publication, calculates the costs of printing.

A science editor is an employee of highly specialized publications (scientific journals, thematic publishers) who has fundamental knowledge of the profile, since s/he has to monitor not only the style of the text, but also to ensure that there are no factual errors in it.

An editor-in-chief is the boss over all other editors and, in general, the chief person in the publishing house. It is s/he who is ultimately responsible for how books, magazines, newspapers or websites are published. Must have knowledge in all of the above areas, as well as have leadership qualities, since it is s/he who coordinates and controls the work of the entire publishing house.


Those who have chosen the profession of an editor never regret it and simply cannot live without their work, because a publishing house is not just a boring office, it is a big family in which life and things are going on. The work is connected with new information, therefore it is always interesting. There is basically no routine. Often the editor has a flexible work schedule - the workload depends on the tasks and the frequency of the publication.

Every editor knows the pleasure of tidying up a good copy. This resembles the cutting of a gem, after which it begins to really sparkle. This work is creative, and that says it all. Perhaps this is the main advantage of the profession of an editor.


Life is so constructed that, as they say, there's two sides to that coin, even though there are not many of them in the profession of an editor.

First of all, it is desk work on the computer, which can adversely affect health. Secondly, it often takes a lot of nerves and mental strength to work with authors (and printing houses as well). Thirdly, this is a huge responsibility, because it is the editors who are called on all the mistakes.

Areas of need

We live in times when the format of information presentation is completely changing. If before you could read a work of art, get an encyclopedic information or find out the latest news from books, magazines and newspapers, today everything has been simplified thanks to the Internet. Any information can be obtained without getting up, and you no longer need to use the service of libraries.

Printed products today are either a luxury item (illustrated albums, gift editions of books, glossy thick magazines), or an advertising tool (leaflets, flyers, booklets). Newspapers, on the other hand, are becoming less and less popular, giving way to online editions. Therefore, the most in demand in our time are specialists who are able to deal with digital texts and who are able to organize fast and high-quality work of copywriters and authors of texts, since the promptness of submitting reliable and, most importantly, selling information is the main requirement for editors of this profile. Since the number of Internet resources is constantly growing, and the already promoted ones are expanding, the need for editors remains quite high. 

Getting a job and career

Of course, you should not think that, having barely finished your studies, you will immediately be able to take the position of editor-in-chief of any publishing house - as a rule, the path to this position is quite long. At first, you can try to work as a simple correspondent (perhaps even a freelance one), there is always a need for them. Having put your best foot forward in this position, in a few years you will be able to take responsibility for editing other people's texts. It is also possible to rise to the position of an art editor by working as a simple designer.

If you can show not only high professionalism in your position, but also show leadership qualities and earn the respect of your colleagues, you have every chance of eventually occupying the editor-in-chief's seat.

Future prospects

Some people, especially young people, like to say that books and other printed publications have come to an end, they say, you can find anything online these days, so why clutter up your house with unnecessary waste paper. But how can a soulless gadget compare to a real paper book? With its scent of paper and paint, with the feeling of a hard cover in hands, with the rustle of turning pages. Moreover, studies have shown that a person is much easier to remember a text read on paper than seen on a computer monitor, since our memory connects the information received with sensations: we remember how the page looked, where this text can be found, and therefore better we learn its meaning. Another fun fact: reading text from paper reduces stress levels by 70%.

As for texts online, it is this very universal availability that sometimes significantly reduces the level of their quality, and, unfortunately, today you can count on one hand online resources where there would be no grammatical and stylistic errors. So there will always be work for editors, or at least as long as the printed word exists. And meanwhile, feel free to apply for professional help from editors from