As an author, you might have a sense of what an Acquisitions Editor does, since you’ve been talking with them about your new book proposal. But what do Editorial Assistants (EA) do and how will you be working with them?

In this EA Roundtable video series, our Asian and Latin American Studies Editor Enrique Ochoa-Kaup talks with Editorial Assistants Aline Dolinh and Chad Attenborough, and Naja Pulliam Collins, a former editorial assistant who is now our Environmental Studies and Geography Editor, about what an EA does and their crucial touchpoints with authors.

As the series shows, an Editorial Assistant works with an Acquisitions Editor at the press on a range of tasks that include assisting with manuscript and art preparation, permissions wrangling, managing deadlines, and coordinating conversations around cover art and blurbs. As authors work towards submitting their final manuscript files for production, EAs become their guide through this process and a main contact for communicating what comes next.  

These videos will be helpful for first time authors wondering how best to prepare their final files for production and what they should know about the cover design process, blurbs, and descriptive copy. We aim to inform authors about our process, which can often be seen as oblique and daunting, touching on some of the most commonly asked questions EAs field from authors.

Part 1: Submitting the Manuscript

One of the primary roles of the EA is to prepare and hand off the manuscript to production, a process that we call a transmittal. The EA works closely with the author to gather the elements of the manuscript, art program, and paperwork (including permissions) to ensure that the book goes into production on time. The EA moves the process along, providing detailed instructions to the authors and answering any questions that come up.

The EA Roundtable Part 1 covers the manuscript preparation process and provides tips for authors navigating final submission.

Part 2: Book Packaging — Cover, Blurbs, Copy

Editorial Assistants also work with authors and internal staff on the packaging of the book. For scholarly monographs, we work with authors to draft the descriptive copy for the back book cover and web page, wrangle blurbs, and often help convey the author’s vision for the cover to the design team.

In Part 2 of the EA Roundtable we will discuss these packaging considerations for scholarly monographs, sharing best practices about working collaboratively to produce a book that everyone can take pride in.

We hope that these videos will assist authors as they are going through the book publishing process.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of the EA Roundtable, where we will discuss the permission documents that authors are required to clear before their book goes into production.