Apr 06 2009

Valerie D’Orazio’s advice about being an assistant editor

She offers some advice here.  Here’s what I took away from her article…

  • She applied in an “unofficial” manner; she sent letters to DC editors asking about employment.
  • Assistant editors do not make very much money.  However, she suggests that they should get promoted within four years.  (If not, “it is not an ideal situation” and you should consider moving on).
  • Traditional publishers are not particularly impressed by comic book experience.
  • “The best shot you have to ‘make it’ in the comic book editing field is to diversify your skill set.”
  • Assistant editors have a variety of mostly menial tasks:  they copy, scan, answer phones, prepare and fill out forms, talk with freelancers, maintain schedules, proofread, research, place balloons, mail stuff, and help out at conventions.  Eventually, your boss may give you a book to edit yourself.
  • She has three tips on how to make it:  do good work, don’t cause trouble, and be well-liked by the people that matter.
  • In your interview, she recommends that you not come across as a fanboy or fangirl.  Be professional.  If you seem like such a comic book nerd that you’re desperate to work there, you will have trouble negotiating for a higher salary.

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