An editorial assistant position in New York City is a necessary and, if not ideal, recommended initial step to editorship. The author did routine office jobs like making copies and preparing coffee before moving on to editing several bestsellers.

But could you describe the duties of this job? Where can one seek advice on landing a position as an editing assistant in New York, and what qualifications are required? Here, you’ll find some solutions to your questions.

What does an editorial assistant do?

An editing assistant works under the supervision of a full-time editor, reading submissions and coordinating with other publishing industry experts such as literary agents, graphic designers, and marketers. Your normal responsibilities will mostly exist to facilitate an editor’s work. Take this as a fair warning that you’ll spend more time doing paperwork than editing.

Can you get a job in publishing as an editorial assistant?

Looking for editorial assistant jobs in NYC? The most common way to break into the publishing industry is to start as an editorial assistant or in an entry-level position with a publishing company. Although job opportunities may be limited in the industry, freelance work is on the rise. Many publishers and self-publishing authors now hire freelance copy editors and proofreaders on a project-by-project basis. Freelancing can offer a unique opportunity to work directly with authors and skip the traditional “training wheels” phase, allowing editors to dive straight into the manuscript and focus on the writing and language. Whether you’re interested in traditional publishing or freelancing, there are numerous paths to a successful career in editorial assistance within the publishing industry.

What kind of salary do editorial assistants receive?

As of July 2021, the median pay for this job in New York City is $41,000. The starting salary for such a post can be modest, but it rarely rises above a certain point. First-year assistants aren’t usually in a position to negotiate salary, but considering that the minimum wage in New York City is $15 per hour, you should be sceptical of any offer below $32,000.

Here are some of the things that you should know: –

1)  Working with Editors and Authors:

Editorial assistants work closely with editors and authors to ensure that all aspects of the publishing process run smoothly. This may include communicating with authors about deadlines, working with editors to review manuscripts, and liaising with marketing and publicity teams to promote the book.

2)  Working Conditions and Work Environment:

Editorial assistants typically work in an office setting, often in large publishing houses or smaller independent publishers. They may work long hours, including evenings and weekends, especially when deadlines are approaching.

3)      Working hours

Normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, but overtime may be required and not compensated for. You may have to work more hours as the due date draws near.

Taking a sabbatical from one’s career or working as a freelancer or part-timer is feasible.

4)  The Importance of Networking in the Industry:

Networking is essential for anyone looking to succeed in the publishing industry, and this is especially true for editorial assistants. Networking can help you meet potential mentors, gain exposure to new job opportunities, and stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices

5)      What to expect: –

Most jobs require a physical presence in an office, but more remote work options are becoming available.

·         Depending on the publisher, the office atmosphere and dress code can range from casual to business casual.

·         Proofreading, translation, copyediting, copywriting, and styling are some of the most common freelancing occupations.

·         It’s unusual to take a trip during business hours. Attending conferences or book events may need occasional overnight absences from home and international work or travel, albeit more senior workers often attend them.

6)  The Role of Editorial Assistants in the Publishing Industry:

Editorial assistants play a vital role in the publishing industry, serving as the primary point of contact for authors, editors, and other publishing professionals. They are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the publishing process run smoothly, from manuscript preparation to book promotion. With the right skills, qualifications, and mindset, editorial assistants can build successful careers in this exciting and dynamic field.

7)      Potential Future Jobs

Gaining a higher position in the company requires demonstrating competence and establishing a track record of excellent work.

Gaining experience as an editing assistant for various publications might be useful for those seeking to specialise in a certain field, such as those catering to children or academics.

Next, one could move up the editorial ladder to become a features editor at a magazine, or a development editor, editor, project editor, and eventually a senior commissioning editor or another managerial position in the publishing industry.

Many people may be trying to get promoted to the next level. If you work for a large company, you may be able to move up the ranks, but if you work for a smaller one, you may have to look elsewhere for advancement once you’ve mastered the basics.

Freelancing is a common choice for editors, especially if they need the flexibility to accommodate a family or other obligations. There are several upsides to freelancing, like fewer commute times, more control over your schedule, and more variety in your work.

8)  Challenges and Potential Drawbacks of the Job:

While working as an editorial assistant can be rewarding, it also comes with its challenges. Editorial assistants may have to work long hours, juggle multiple projects simultaneously, and handle a high volume of work with tight deadlines. Additionally, the pay for editorial assistant positions may not be high, especially in the early stages of one’s career.


As a result, there is a rising demand for printed material in Asia and the Pacific Rim. Working abroad may be an option if you are a skilled editor. Working as an editorial assistant in NYC can be a rewarding and exciting career path for those who are passionate about books and the publishing industry. While the job may come with its challenges, such as long hours and tight deadlines, editorial assistants play a crucial role in the publishing process and have the opportunity to work with talented authors and editors. With the right skills, qualifications, and networking opportunities, editorial assistants can build successful and fulfilling careers in the publishing industry, whether they choose to stay in the role long-term or advance to other positions within the field.