What’s a fiction editor?

Print anything with Printful

Fiction editors prepare works of fiction for publication, working with various genres and providing advice on plot, formatting, and word choice. They may work for publishing houses or independently, and can help writers establish relationships with specific editors. Publishers consider audience and may challenge questionable content. Many editors start at publishing houses and work their way up, gaining experience and establishing relationships.

A fiction editor is a professional in the publishing industry who prepares works of fiction for publication. Fiction editors can work with short stories, novellas, novels and full-length books. They may choose to focus on specific genres such as young adult literature, translation work, science fiction, romance novels, and so on. A career as an editor of fiction and other writing requires attention to detail, excellent communication skills, familiarity with spelling and grammar rules, and knowledge of writing conventions and traditions.

Some fiction editors work for publishing houses. Publishers can choose to assign editors to specific writers, so that writers can establish a relationship with a specific fiction editor and maintain that relationship throughout their careers. In other cases, editors are assigned to books as they are hired, and a writer may work with many editors at the same publishing house. Fiction editors can also work independently or as part of a writing agency.

Editing books is much more than identifying spelling and grammar errors and making the text consistent in nature. A fiction editor helps the writer make plot and plot decisions, how to present information, formatting, and word choice. Fiction editors can also provide advice and recommendations on how to make a book stronger and more accessible to readers. A writer can produce a technically perfect book that lacks a spark to compel readers, and the fiction editor will work with the writer to develop the book more fully.

Fiction publishers also consider their audience. Publishers may have specific content standards and other concerns with the books they accept, and publishers are responsible for identifying and challenging questionable or problematic content. Input from a fiction editor can sometimes result in substantial revisions. While publishers have separate legal departments tasked with reviewing books to look for any content that might create legal issues, publishers can also flag content for legal review or ask consultants to review it if a work of fiction contains content that raises concern.

Many fiction editors start their careers at publishing houses or agencies and work their way up through the ranks. They can help editors and agents working with basic proofreading of submitted materials and gradually receive more responsibilities over time as they develop skills and establish relationships with other editors and writers. Once someone has experience in editing, they may choose to stay with an existing employer or apply elsewhere for different types of editing work or a new work environment.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content