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Become An Author

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Working As An Author

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $56,010

    Average Salary

What Does An Author Do

Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.

Duties

Editors typically do the following:

  • Read content and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • Rewrite text to make it easier for readers to understand
  • Verify facts using standard reference sources
  • Evaluate submissions from writers to decide what to publish
  • Work with writers to help their ideas and stories succeed
  • Develop story and content ideas according to the publication’s style and editorial policy
  • Allocate space for the text, photos, and illustrations that make up a story
  • Approve final versions submitted by staff

Editors plan, coordinate, and revise material for publication in books, newspapers, magazines, or websites. Editors review story ideas and decide what material will appeal most to readers. During the review process, editors offer comments to improve the product, and suggest titles and headlines. In smaller organizations, a single editor may perform all of the editorial duties or share them with only a few other people.

The following are examples of types of editors:

Copy editors review text for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling and check for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such as changing words and rearranging sentences and paragraphs to improve clarity or accuracy. They also may carry out research, confirm sources for writers, and verify facts, dates, and statistics. In addition, they may arrange page layouts of articles, photographs, and advertising.

Publication assistants who work for book-publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers, proofread uncorrected drafts, and answer questions about published material. Assistants on small newspapers or in smaller media markets may compile articles available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones, and proofread articles.

Assistant editors are responsible for a particular subject, such as local news, international news, feature stories, or sports. Most assistant editors work for newspaper publishers, television broadcasters, magazines, book publishers, or advertising and public relations firms.

Executive editors oversee assistant editors and generally have the final say about what stories are published and how they are covered. Executive editors typically hire writers, reporters, and other employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers, who are sometimes called “stringers” in the news industry. Although many executive editors work for newspaper publishers, some work for television broadcasters, magazines, or advertising and public relations firms.

Managing editors typically work for magazines, newspaper publishers, and television broadcasters, and are responsible for the daily operations of a news department.

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How To Become An Author

A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English, combined with previous writing and proofreading experience, is typically required to be an editor.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English. They also prefer candidates with mass- or cross-media experience.

Those with other backgrounds who can show strong writing skills also may find jobs as editors. Editors who deal with specific subject matter may need previous related work experience. For example, fashion editors may need expertise in fashion that they gain through formal training or work experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many editors start off as editorial assistants, writers, or reporters.

Those who are particularly skilled at identifying good stories, recognizing writing talent, and interacting with writers may be interested in editing jobs. 

Other Experience

Editors also can gain experience by working on high school and college newspapers, and for magazines, radio and television stations, advertising and publishing companies, or nonprofit organizations. Magazines and newspapers also have internships for students. For example, the American Society of Magazine Editors offers a Magazine Internship Program to qualified full-time students in their junior or senior year of college. Interns may write stories, conduct research and interviews, and gain general publishing experience.

The ability to use computers is necessary for editors to stay in touch with writers and other editors and to work on the increasingly important digital media or online side of a publication. Familiarity with electronic publishing, graphics, Web design, and multimedia production is also important, because more content is being offered online.

Advancement

Some editors hold management positions and must make decisions related to running a business. For them, advancement generally means moving up to publications with larger circulation or greater prestige. Copy editors may move into original writing or substantive editing positions, or become freelancers.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Editors must be creative, curious, and knowledgeable in a broad range of topics. Some editors must regularly come up with interesting story ideas and attention-grabbing headlines.

Detail oriented. One of an editor’s main tasks is to make sure that material is error free and matches the style of a publication.

Good judgment. Editors must decide if certain stories are ethical or if there is enough evidence to report them.

Interpersonal skills. In working with writers, editors must have tact and the ability to guide and encourage them in their work.

Writing skills. Editors must ensure that all written content has correct grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Editors must be able to write clearly and logically.

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Do you work as an Author?

Author Jobs

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Author Career Paths

Author
Project Coordinator Operations Manager Account Executive
Account Director
9 Yearsyrs
Co-Founder Business Analyst Marketing Manager
Brand Director
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Project Manager Program Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Presenter Instructor Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Columnist Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer Management Consultant Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Columnist Managing Editor Marketing Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Analyst Product Manager Marketing Consultant
Head Of Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Co-Founder Senior Project Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer President/Chief Executive Officer Business Developer
Marketing/Business Development
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Marketing Manager Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Faculty Chairperson
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Senior Manager Of Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Editor Technical Writer Business Analyst
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Presenter Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Author?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Author/Writer 4.8 years
Publisher 3.8 years
Author 3.0 years
Lead Writer 2.9 years
Book Editor 2.7 years
Multimedia Author 2.0 years
CO-Author 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 10.6%
Editor 7.5%
Teacher 6.8%
Volunteer 6.6%
Instructor 5.6%
Consultant 5.0%
Writer 4.8%
Owner 4.4%
Director 3.9%
Manager 3.8%
President 3.8%
Cashier 3.3%
Top Employers After
Editor 9.1%
Internship 9.0%
Consultant 6.8%
Teacher 5.9%
Instructor 5.7%
Writer 5.5%
Volunteer 4.9%
Owner 4.6%
CO-Author 4.1%
President 4.0%
Director 3.9%
Manager 3.1%

Do you work as an Author?

Author Demographics

Gender

Female

49.7%

Male

47.1%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

79.7%

Hispanic or Latino

8.9%

Asian

8.6%

Unknown

2.1%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.0%

French

16.1%

German

7.6%

Mandarin

5.4%

Arabic

5.2%

Italian

4.4%

Chinese

4.0%

Russian

2.9%

Portuguese

2.7%

Japanese

1.9%

Hindi

1.7%

Korean

1.5%

Hebrew

1.5%

Greek

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Indonesian

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Swedish

1.0%

Swahili

0.6%

Danish

0.6%
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Author Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.1%

New York University

7.8%

University of Southern California

5.9%

University of California - Los Angeles

5.2%

Arizona State University

5.2%

Harvard University

5.1%

Liberty University

4.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.7%

Syracuse University

4.6%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

University of Washington

4.4%

George Washington University

4.2%

Columbia University

4.2%

San Francisco State University

3.9%

Walden University

3.9%

American University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

Florida State University

3.9%

Boston University

3.9%

University of Pennsylvania

3.9%
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Majors

Business

15.4%

English

12.3%

Communication

7.5%

Writing

6.2%

Journalism

6.1%

Psychology

6.0%

Education

5.4%

Law

4.4%

Computer Science

4.0%

History

3.6%

Management

3.2%

Marketing

3.2%

Political Science

3.1%

Elementary Education

2.9%

Finance

2.9%

Fine Arts

2.7%

Photography

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.9%

Masters

26.4%

Other

19.3%

Doctorate

7.8%

Associate

5.2%

Certificate

4.2%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Author Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Global Design Authority Autoliv Asp, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Sep 28, 2016 $120,607
Content Author Populus Group LLC Charlotte, NC Sep 15, 2016 $112,698
Content Author Populus Group LLC Charlotte, NC Sep 29, 2016 $112,698
Software Engineering Author Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 04, 2015 $100,000 -
$120,000
Technical Author Training and Support Metavine, Inc. San Mateo, CA Dec 31, 2014 $100,000
DVD Author 2 Technicolor Inc. Burbank, CA Oct 21, 2009 $69,555
Msds Author Master Bond Inc. Hackensack, NJ Sep 14, 2012 $68,000
Author (Sd/Hd Programmer) Technicolor Inc. Burbank, CA Oct 05, 2011 $63,549

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How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Author?

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Top Skills for An Author

WebPagesOnlineProceduresAmazonKindleHistoryCustomerServiceArtTopicsSafetyFacebookVideoLanguageDataEntryFinancialTwitterInternetPublishersPolicyPoetryBookSales

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  1. Web Pages
  2. Online
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide service to various business areas through writing, editing, and designing web pages geared for branch efficiency.
  • Expanded the test bank, found online resources, and indexed the BJUP high school physics book.
  • Performed general office duties, with an emphasis on accounting and payroll procedures.
  • Book rank on Amazon Kindle Store currently as Best Selling MANGA since June 2014.
  • Conducted archival research and interviews with corporate leaders and academics to write this landmark text chronicling school's 100-year history.

How Would You Rate Working As an Author?

Are you working as an Author? Help us rate Author as a Career.

Top Author Employers

Author Videos

Day in the Life of an Author - Rachel Hollis

Career Advice on becoming a Children's Author by Jeremy S (Full Version)

Jeff Kinney's Advice - How to Become an Author!