Editing for a School Book Publisher

When we look back on our own school days, almost every one of us remembers the logos of well-known textbook publishers. Yet it is usually unclear what a job at such a publishing house would look like. The work in a school book publishing house differs in many respects from that in other publishing houses, because school book publishers have to adapt their learning content to educational requirements and have it checked by the ministries of education and cultural affairs.
The main task of such an editorial office is the didactic development, i.e. the testing and production of teaching material for subject-specific teaching in schools and in adult education – in printed and digital formats. The editors often work together with specialized authors. These authors usually work part-time for the school book publishing house, are qualified in the educational sector and are supervised by the trained editors.
In contrast to editors in other fields (e.g. newspaper publishers), school book editors are more of a mixture of editor and proofreader and also coordinate with other departments such as the image and copyright department or the sales team.

In order to get a foothold as an editor in a school book publishing house, it is customary to do a so-called “Volontariat” (traineeship), which usually lasts 18 to 24 months. Due to the focus on educational science, graduates with a teaching degree are usually given preferential treatment in an application procedure. Nevertheless, pedagogical training is not necessarily required for the work as an editor in a school book publishing house. Depending on the subject area for which you apply, however, you will generally be required to have a relevant academic background and initial editorial or teaching experience. In addition, some school book publishers have specialized in foreign language education, which is why working in the editorial department of a school book publishing house is also suitable for students with a sound knowledge of foreign languages.

Frau im Gespräch

Marion Kiffe

works at the English editorial office of Cornelsen Verlag Berlin

Typical tasks

Possible places of employment