Key skills that an editor needs

The Master in Publishing at UPF-IDEC reaches its 20th year, becoming Spain’s longest-running professional master program in publishing. “The Master was developed because I wanted to transfer and formalize my experience through a practical program closely connected with the publishing world. Until that point (1996) there was no professional master program in publishing in Spain,” explained Javier Aparicio Maydeu in a report published by El Cultural (El Mundo).

Aparicio emphasized the importance for an editor of being intuitive and highly disciplined, and summarized in five points the theoretical knowledge that a good professional publisher must have:
1) An understanding of the legal scenario, techniques and strategies for negotiating and contracting, amortization and exploitation of publishing rights.
2) A practical knowledge of editorial production in both print and digital environments.
3) Understanding of finance for publishing, from calculation of costs, to statements of annual results and analysis of the factors that determine profitability.
4) Marketing and communications strategies.
5) A general grasp of how all aspects of the publishing chain are related and depend on each other.

With regard to the digital environment, the Master in Publishing at UPF-IDEC has covered this aspect for over a decade: “Some ten years ago we were giving classes on electronic ink, at the time when the Sony Reader was first designed”. In the following years they followed this path, establishing links with Google and law firms specializing in digital rights, he recalls. “However, physical books still hold more influence in the publishing world” so the bulk of the course still focuses on this area. Most skills a publisher needs are independent of the format in which books are sold and so the master addresses e-books in a specific part of the course.

Extract from the article Másteres de edición, puliendo vocaciones