Editors-in-chief work in different structures, from magazines to newspapers, including publishing houses and university presses. But you don't become an editor overnight. It takes years of writing, editing and management experience to achieve this leadership position. The editor is responsible for the overall publication, which includes the actual publication process, its budget and funding, perspective and strategy. The editor can also be the public face of the publication.
Part 1 of 5: Choosing your course
Step 1. Focus your efforts on one type of post first
There are editors for all kinds of publications, from magazines and newspapers, to blogs and publishing houses. Determine which one looks the most attractive to you. The skills required by an editor are generally transferable between the various branches of writing, from print and online journals to academic magazines and publishing houses. However, once you get to the executive level, you are an expert in a specific industry and you are certainly going to have to stay in that industry if you want to become an editor.
Step 2. Learn all you can about your chosen industry
Research the industry and identify the companies that you find most interesting as potential employers. Focus on where the industry is going, as well as which models have succeeded and which have failed.
Step 3. Get training in higher education
Most publishing houses will require you to have a bachelor's degree (or higher) in journalism, communication, or business, for managerial positions. In some publishing houses, however, a journalism degree is sometimes not the most appropriate. For example, if you want to be the editor of a fashion magazine, take classes at a fashion school instead. You should also take the location into account, when looking to determine the best training. It's easier to get an internship in urban areas and there are types of publishing houses that are concentrated in some cities more than others. In the United States, for example, fashion magazines are easier to find in New York, while those related to entertainment will be found more in Los Angeles.
- Prestigious training can give you more opportunities or connections with bigger people or companies. But smaller schools don't eliminate you from higher positions. In fact, less popular formations may offer you a greater chance of taking on leadership roles, since there is less competition.
- If you have a license in another field, you are not automatically sidelined from the position of editor. You can consolidate your bachelor's degree with a master's or you can also draw on years of professional industry experience, which can substitute for some university training.
Part 2 of 5: Learn skills
Step 1. Write a lot
No matter the type of writing, writing will help you sharpen your skills, find your niche, and feel comfortable writing quickly, no matter the style. Find a balance in your writing between creativity, functionality and effective communication. Try not to be too heavy or airtight in your texts. Think about your readers and write awesome articles that are interesting and compelling no matter what.
Keep up to date with comments related to your writing. What is clear and alive for you may be confusing and nebulous for others
Step 2. Read a lot
Being a good writer, and ultimately a good editor, means being cultivated. Read other people's texts with a critical eye and try to identify what is right and wrong. Read all kinds of books, from big novels to magazine articles, to blog posts. It goes without saying that it is above all essential to be cultivated in your sector. If you aspire to be editor-in-chief of a science magazine, for example, make sure you keep up to date with developments in the industry on a regular basis.
Step 3. Be a good editor
This involves re-reading the texts correctly from the point of view of consistency, quality, tone and style. In addition, you should be able to judge whether or not the author is using reliable sources. Maintain a balance between editing text that reflects the voice of the publisher and text that reflects that of the author. You will need to be able to give constructive criticism. Be completely honest with your author. Acknowledge the positive aspects of their work first, then give concrete suggestions on how to change their issue or obscure wording. Develop good relationships with your authors, who depend on you for guidance and tutoring.
Keep in mind that a writer's plan remains that writer's plan. Don't let your ego get in the way of your corrector work
Step 4. Learn the typographical codes used by writing and publishing professionals
Since you aspire to become editor-in-chief, it is your duty to know the typographical codes by relying in particular on the New Typographical Code of the FCCS CGC, the Lexicon of typographical rules of the National Printing Office and the Choice of rules at the use of authors and book professionals, of the Federation of polygraphic industries and of communication French Confederation of framing-CGC.
Step 5. Juggle between print and digital formats
There are very few publishers that do not also have a digital format to accompany their print version. There are also many publications that are completely digital. Still, it can be helpful to have multiple strings to your bow, and understanding the job of printing will allow you to easily switch between formats.
Step 6. Build your interpersonal skills
Your skills should not be limited to the technical field. You also need to be someone who can work well in a team, as well as solo. Having a positive, upbeat attitude will help you every step of the way. Also have a touch of pragmatism: be realistic about what you can achieve on a given date and what you can expect from other people.
Step 7. Stay on top of the trends that are affecting your readership
Identifying trends that suit the editorial style of your publishing house will give you ideas for stories that can then be offered to your authors. This could lead your publishing house to take the lead in the sector and attract more and more readers.
Part 3 of 5: Build Your Resume
Step 1. Start an internship
Getting an internship in a magazine, newspaper, website or publishing house is a good way to start making contacts, gaining experience and learning. market knowledge. Small companies will give you more opportunities, while large ones will be more prestigious on your resume. Target specific companies that interest you and contact their HRD to find out if they are taking interns. Otherwise, go see a guidance counselor at the university to give you ideas on what can best serve you. Also remember to do some research online, to print out lists of jobs, which could possibly give rise to internships.
Internships can sometimes be unpaid. Normally, the intern “receives a gratuity and not a salary if the duration of the internship within the host company is more than two consecutive months or not, during the same school or university year. A law of June 26, 2014, applicable from September 2015, also aims to improve the status of interns, requiring companies to pay them from the first day of an internship of more than two months. However, internships of one or two months may be unpaid
Step 2. Take a job at a small publishing house
It is true that small publishing houses often have a smaller readership, less funding, more limited reach and that they are generally specialized, but they also have a small team, which means that all positions require more. of responsibilities. This will allow you to gain valuable experience in the role of a chef and gradually move up the ranks. You could therefore become editor in chief faster than if you were in a larger publishing house. Otherwise, you also have the option of moving to a larger publishing house.
However, small publishing houses are by no means “the easiest way”. On the contrary, it can even be more difficult, because these publishing houses generally did not inherit a readership. Rather, they need to build their readership from scratch. They may also have more financial difficulties, which means that the editor must be creative and be savvy in finding strategies that will help the publishing house to survive
Step 3. Work your way up the ranks
You will most likely start out as a writer, editor, or editing assistant. As you gain experience and expand your skills, you will be promoted to Associate Editor, Associate Editor, Director Editor. But keep in mind that the precise nature of these positions varies by industry and does not always involve the same tasks.
Step 4. Set up your own publishing house
It is now easier than ever to set up an online publishing house and you then have the option of appointing yourself as editor-in-chief. If you have a creative vision and good writing skills, you can start your own publishing house. Declare yourself to be editor-in-chief. Without a formal structure, you might feel like you're not qualified for the job, or you're just pretending to be an editor. But have faith in yourself, have the vision for your publisher, promote your content, and BE the editor.
Prepare, however, to do it all on your own. You will need to be able to find other writers or editors to contribute to your publishing house, but if you start without having funds (or if you have very little), you will not have the additional resources to pay for your. staff. Likewise, you too will have to work for free. Perhaps you will write all the content, be the web designer, look for advertisers (if you choose this solution) and need to promote your publishing house to the relevant readership
Part 4 of 5: Building relationships in your industry
Step 1. Do informal interviews with people from the companies you think are the best
An informal interview is a non-formal conversation with someone who can give you insight into a business or industry. This is not a job interview and don't expect to be told about vacancies. On the other hand, they are opportunities to create contacts and gather opinions about the state of the sector or the particular place of a company in a given sector. You can also learn things about career paths that you hadn't thought of at first.
- Make an appointment based on a time and place that best suits the professional you want to meet. Take his time into consideration. Maybe he skips his lunch to meet you.
- Do some research beforehand. Research everything you can about the company, its leaders, its work culture, and who you are interviewing. Prepare questions in advance. Even if you are not looking for a job with this company, you should still sound professional and serious. Wear proper attire and always maintain a professional demeanor.
- End the informal interview with a thank you note. A carefully edited and proofread email is certainly the most appropriate. Be sure to use the polite expressions and thank the person for their time and advice.
Step 2. Make allies
Find people who want you to be successful. Try to rule out those who want you to fail. You are going to run into obstacles in your career and the people who want to help you will keep you going. Allies are people you can trust, who will be honest with you, and who believe you are a great asset in your industry.
Step 3. Get involved in your community
We must understand "community" in a sense not only professional (other publishers and authors), but also more general (charitable sector, social events, etc.). Broadening your circle of acquaintances and increasing your visibility will help complete your profile as a leader, expert and mentor.
Step 4. Contact professional associations
There are many associations whose members are professionals working in similar fields. These associations offer excellent opportunities to make contacts.
Part 5 of 5: Apply for the job
Step 1. Take seriously what it means to be an editor
This new position may be more demanding, involve attending more public or community events, more management meetings, requiring more travel and so on. Take into account the consequences this work will have on your lifestyle and its impact on your family.
Step 2. Prepare your application
Read the job posting carefully and understand everything that will be asked of you. Write a compelling, yet concise cover letter that highlights the positions you have held and the skills you have learned. You may also be asked to send additional documentation, such as a strategic vision for the publisher or business. Submit your application according to the instructions in the job posting.
- If you are already working for the company whose editor-in-chief position is vacant, you will need to speak with your superiors about your interest in the position. On the other hand, do not think that you will be automatically caught. At this level of management, companies want to find the best person for the job. And it is not only the person with the most appropriate skills, but also the one who can bring the innovation and the supervision necessary for the sustainability of the publishing house.
- You will evolve in a competitive environment, in which you will work closely with other people who will be interested in the same position. Or, you can also change companies and don't want to tell your manager, clients, or writers that you are going to leave. Be quiet when talking about the ad.
Step 3. Take the interview
Make an appointment that suits you, but also those who will give you the interview. You may need to be flexible and be prepared to devote the whole day (or more!) To the first round of interviews. This may involve meeting with the editor, board, and staff. It can also take place at the company's headquarters, which will require you to travel (thus involving taking time off from your current employer).
Expect to pass several rounds of interviews if you are seriously interested in the job
Step 4. Get the job
If you've managed to present yourself as the best possible choice for the editor-in-chief position, hopefully you get the job. Congratulation ! During your employment negotiations, you will have the opportunity to talk about your salary. On average, the starting salary of an editor is around 2006 euros / month. But you need to be familiar enough with your industry to know what the most appropriate salary is.
Step 5. Be a good leader
Now you take the reins of the publishing house. Your quality of leader, your creativity and your spirit of initiative will determine your performance in your work, and, consequently, that of your publishing house as well as its success.