The Assistant Editor is responsible for making sure Human Kinetics products are of high quality. The Assistant Editor prepares manuscript files for various publication stages; evaluates and integrates author changes; reads pages to ensure correct grammar, usage, and logic; evaluates layout of page proofs; and manages many stages of the production process. The Assistant Editor communicates regularly with authors and in-house publication staff, manages multiple tasks simultaneously, and possesses great attention to detail.
The Assistant Editor is responsible for making sure the details of HK books are of high quality according to HK and Division standards.
The Assistant Editor works with the computer to prepare manuscript files for various publication stages; evaluates and integrates author changes at various stages; understands and follows HK and CMS style when integrating, editing, proofing, and correcting text and indexes; checks pages against sample pages for correct formatting of headings, type, and special elements; reads pages to ensure correct grammar, usage, and logic; evaluates proofreaders’ changes on galleys or pages to ensure accuracy and acceptability of changes; gives the Editorial Services Manager feedback on proofreaders’ and copyeditors’ work; evaluates layout of page proofs, especially of tables and art as described in the Editorial Handbook, offering solutions to layout problems; checks that all corrections have been made on subsequent rounds of pages; proofs artwork and back cover copy against previous versions, marking accurately and clearly any changes needed; checks quality and placement of photos; and checks bluelines, cover proofs, and other proofs to ensure accuracy.
The Assistant Editor is part of a publication team, yet must complete each task independently, with minimal supervision from his or her coordinator. He or she must communicate positively and regularly with authors, all members of the in-house publication team, and the coordinator to move products through the publication process effectively. The Assistant Editor manages multiple tasks simultaneously, prioritizes tasks optimally, and takes initiative with all projects. He or she develops effective and efficient systems for managing the details of each project. He or she adapts established systems or procedures to fit the unique needs of each project.
The Assistant Editor will complete an appropriate quantity of work, which is gauged in part by whether tasks are completed within the amount of time allowed by project deadlines and in part by the number of projects managed in a year compared to others in the department (the amount of artwork and photos managed, number of pages in a book, and the complexity of the design or content also impact the evaluation of appropriate quantity). Other responsibilities managed by an Assistant Editor, such as mentoring or taking on additional responsibilities in the department, impact the quantity of work. On occasion, the Assistant Editor may manage projects through the production phases, ensuring that projects move through production smoothly, on time, and within budget and serving as a main contact for the author and in-house staff.
1. Proofs projects to ensure HK and division quality expectations are met.
a. Understands product expectations and treatment level discussed at ETM/launch meeting and completes project tasks in accordance with that vision.
b. Understands and follows HK house style, style sheet, and CMS when integrating, editing, proofing, and correcting text, artwork, tables, indexes, marketing copy, and covers. Makes good decisions about when it is appropriate to not follow house style, style sheet, or CMS.
c. Prepares and proofs all rounds of materials, including page proofs, artwork, cover proofs, and blues, so that products are free of errors and feature correct grammar, usage, and logic. Ensures that similar elements throughout a product are consistent.
d. Evaluates layout of page proofs effectively, especially layout of tables, art, and photos, making sure they’re placed at appropriate places in the text and that captions make the connection between graphics and text clear. Ensures pages are correctly formatted based on the designer’s sample pages. Constructively offers solutions to layout problems.
2. Prioritizes projects optimally to ensure deadlines are met.
a. Works with publication team to set and meet realistic dates for editorial benchmarks (CE start, art/photo TM, production TM, rounds of pages, to printer, release).
b. Realistically predicts the time needed for Assistant Editor tasks and communicates that information effectively to help publication team prioritize work.
c. Contributes in planning meeting to discussions about target release dates, considering responsibilities of other projects or department goals.
d. Is aware of author art or page proof delays and makes appropriate adjustments to the schedule to allow release date to still be met.
e. Anticipates overload times to help team plan to use other Assistant Editors when warranted.
f. Finalizes page count by 2nd pages.
g. Completes an appropriate quantity of work, as compared to others in the department.
3. Monitors costs associated with projects to ensure budgets are met.
a. Adjusts amount of work spent on each project to reflect project objectives and treatment levels as outlined by the Acquisitions Editor.
b. Meets AE budget set on the earliest cost/sales developed after complete manuscript is in hand.
c. Works effectively with DE and acquisitions editor to make budget adjustments early in the process when that’s warranted. Offers solutions to DE and acquisitions editors when budgets look like they’ll go over to bring costs back in line before the budget is overrun.
d. Few page-stage and art corrections are needed, so that money spent on corrections is minimal.
e. Completes castoffs accurately. Projects meet page counts at first pages.
f. Works productively, as measured by having an appropriate level of miscellaneous time compared to others in the group. Uses nonpeak times of the year to focus on training initiatives or other issues related to the improvement of departmental functions.
4. Communicates effectively with internal and external associates (coworkers, authors, vendors, freelancers) throughout the publication process.
a. Keeps project team members updated on task status, taking part in team meetings as necessary. Provides input on publication schedules each week.
b. Shares project information helpfully at planning, production TM, and layout meetings.
c. Responds quickly and professionally to author and in-house requests.
d. Works with authors to plan when to send page and art proofs so that author knows when to expect them.
e. Consistently participates with GA in planning deadlines for rounds of pages.
f. Keeps colleagues informed about changes that are likely to affect other departments, such as title changes, copyright date changes, and other items listed on the ed change form.
g. Works constructively with copyeditors, proofreaders, indexers, graphic artists, production managers, graphic designers, art and photo office staff, permissions staff, authors, acquisition editors, developmental editors, and publication development coordinators to effectively solve problems that come up during the process.
h. Adapts to unexpected events with appropriate guidance from DE, coordinator, acquisitions editors, and other advisors.
i. Provides helpful feedback on copyediting and proofing evaluation forms.
5. Prepares project materials accurately for internal and external associates (coworkers, authors, vendors).
a. Prepares ms prep and tm prep materials that are well organized and complete, according to procedures.
b. When preparing art or photo manuscripts for production, gives good instructions to art/photo office and artists/photographers. Examples are clear. Gives specific instructions regarding size, style, gender, ethnicity, equipment, etc. so that art is finalized in few rounds and the photos that are obtained meet the needs of the project.
c. Prepares thorough and clear CE, PR, and indexing transmittal materials that effectively communicate the specific needs of the project as needed.
d. Updates art lists regularly and accurately.
e. Resolves queries to the author before transmitting the project to the graphic artist and/or returning first pages to the graphic artist.
f. Evaluates and integrates author and proofreader changes. Makes good decisions about what author and proofreader corrections to make and not make according to house style and CMS guidelines as well as the project expectations and treatment level discussed at ETM/launch.
When an Assistant Editor manages projects after copyediting or transmittal, he or she is responsible for monitoring work of authors and publication team members to ensure that projects are completed accurately and according to HK and Division standards, budget and design requirements are met, and all project parts are completed in a timely manner or by a predetermined deadline.
This is a typical office environment in a temperature-controlled work space.
The Assistant Editor will use a computer and basic office equipment.
Bachelor’s degree, preferably in English or language-related field, or equivalent level of experience
In-depth knowledge of grammar and usage
Excellent detail orientation
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Excellent decision-making and organizational skills
Knowledge of copyediting and proofreading procedures
Demonstrates proofreading proficiency by completing HK’s diagnostic test with an “errors” score of 18/23 or higher and a “queries” score of 11/21 or higher
Demonstrates spelling proficiency by completing HK’s diagnostic test with a score of 12/15 or higher
Proficiency with word processing and database programs
Superior interpersonal skills