How Jackie O.’s Final Career Choice Lasted Longer Than Both Her Marriages Combined

Posted on August 20, 2013



When many people hear the name Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, they think “fashion icon,” or JFK’s widow. What they may not know is that for the last 19 years of her life she worked as an editor, a position she took much pride in. She was hired by Viking Press because of her fame, but it was a career choice that kept her close to home and doing what she loved most, reading. After a few years with Viking, she went on to work with Doubleday and published a number of books that would make any editor today jealous.

Although Jackie had a great love for books, being an editor isn’t an easy job to have.  It doesn’t only consist of proofreading and editing manuscripts, but includes other responsibilities as well. There are several different kinds of editorial positions. 

For example, a copy editor prepares the work for conversion into print form, a photo editor chooses photos/illustrations for a particular work, and a public editor addresses the concerns or complaints from readers and responds to them.  Perhaps the most interesting editorial position is that of the acquisitions editor.  His or her role is to persuade an author to produce a work. It was through acquisitions that Jackie made her name in the publishing industry.

 Finally, an editor-in-chief is a title given to someone who works with magazines, newspapers, yearbooks, television news, or academic journals. These editors lead all the departments within the organization and ultimately decide whether or not a work will be published.  They must cross-check citations and examine references, and can reject any work they believe may be plagiarized. Editors-in-chief must also contribute writings of their own for publication. For many writers and editors, this is the most sought-after position within the publishing industry since they are able to do what they love, yet still have the final say over the work of others as well.

All editors must make sure the entire publication process runs smoothly and that all publications are printed on time. They work with the advertising and production departments, and must oversee the content and look of the publication.

An editor’s main responsibility is to oversee the style and content of the work. He or she needs to have an eye for detail, as well as excellent grammar and spelling abilities. An editor who specifically focuses on these aspects of the publishing process is often referred to as a publishing editor.

Editors must be leaders, as was Jackie O. She influenced Michael Jackson to write his autobiography Moonwalk, as well as Gelsey Kirkland’s book, Dancing on my Grave. As an avid reader, she knew what stories people wanted to read and know more about. She was in tune with the public’s desire and knew how to influence her peers into writing their own stories. Although she didn’t have much experience coming into the publishing industry, many editors—and readers—thank her for the works she helped to provide us.  

Tamika Ureña, Editor and Writer, Asta Publications

Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.

Posted in: Publishing