Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Why I Want To Be An…Acquisitions Editor

Posted by Caitie F on October 12, 2010

To see what this series is all about, head over to the intro post.

The first thing I want to do is explain what an acquisitions editor does, since I think it is something that many people don’t know much about. An acquisitions editor is the person who acquires a books for a publishing house. At least, that is the basic definition. Not all houses have acquisition editors, but many do. The acquisition editors do much more than just read things sent to them by agents and go through the slush. They also go out and look for things to publish, or people to write books (how do you think Snookie got a book deal.? Not saying that was a great idea, but it will most likely make money). They see current events/hot topics and find someone to write about it. They read a lot of different types of writing to look for ideas – magazines, newspapers, blogs, self-published books, etc. Once they find a book they love, they are the champions of the book in the house. They talk about it at meetings, match up the project with the right editor, and convince everyone else that it needs to be published at that house now.

They are really busy people! Just to clarify, here is a list of some things they don’t do – They don’t edit, fix manuscripts, or see a project through to the end of the process. Those tasks are the job of an editor. Like I said before, not all publishers have an acquisitions department; the tasks done by acquisitions are just thrown in with editorial sometimes.

I really think acquisitions would be a great job for many reasons. I love finding “that” manuscript or author. The one that makes you stop everything and say “yes THIS is it, we need to publish this”. I also think there are a lot of new ways to find manuscripts or authors and I would really enjoy looking for innovative ways of finding new things.

It is also a lot of matchmaking, so I would have ti really know the editors and what they like (and don’t like). I think this sounds like a great aspect of the job. Knowing the right person for a job can be hard, but finding that perfect match is worth all of the hard work.

I also have a natural advantage in acquisitions. An acquisitions editor is constantly reading and I read annoyingly fast (just ask my husband!). In this job, that would be a huge asset.

I love trying to convince people that a manuscript is great and has something special that other people will love. I enjoy tailoring the message to certain people and would be able to thrive in an environment where I got to do that. My experience in politics could actually help me in this profession.

Finally, every day would be something different, which is something I look for in the ideal job.

I would love working in acquisitions, even though it can be a very difficult job.


Next time: Why I Want To Be  An . . . Editor



2 Responses to “Why I Want To Be An…Acquisitions Editor”

  1. :) said

    When you apply, you should be sure to play up your public service slush reading to prospective employers.

    If I were a publishing baron, I’d hire you right now. Self motivated — check. Passionate — check. Talented — check. What more could they want?! Seriously.


  2. […] Acquisitions Editorial Marketing EBooks Publicity Agent […]

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