You have writers on one side....and on the other...
In publishing, you have assistant editors, senior editors, copy editors, marketing editors, art directors, and the Suits, who ultimately decide of a book will make the company money.
Assistant editors, or some similar name, are the dogsbodies of publishing. They read the slush pile and make the coffee. If you can last longer than a week without going mad from the bad writing, you might have a future in publishing.
IGNORE everything you see in films and TV. They make it glamorous. It isn't.
Most editors are overworked, have sore eyes, and have to wear many hats to cover all the different jobs they do. When the day is done, the clock out, but usually carry home a load of slush submissions to go through on their own time. My first novel sold when a low end slush editor read it on her way home and it distracted her from a subway full of muggers.
Living in New York is pretty much a requirement. It's expensive. Most apartments are overpriced and the size of my guest bedroom.
You get to argue with nervous new writers, cranky veteran writers, and try to convince word divas that spelling and punctuation ARE indeed important. When you DO find a book worth buying you get to argue with the Suits about why you think they should buy it. Telling them to read the book is pointless. They're into bean counting, not reading.
You run off to writing conferences and meet every kind of idiot who's not read the 808 section of the library to get the basics about writing and submissions. 900-page manuscripts are shoved at you under the bathroom stall doors. People hand you their cards and tell you they have a "fiction novel" ready to go. (All novels ARE fiction.)
Here's a blog by a senior editor at Tor that might give you an idea of the c**p editors go through trying to find something readable and why 98?f everything is rejected.
Pictures of slush piles:
- Tor/20020416 Tor-NYC 053.jpg
I'm not trying to discourage you, but just stating what it's really like. You can look up jobs for editors on line in (I think) Publisher's Lunch, but there are rarely any entry level positions. You need a degree in something or other just to get in the door.
I got into editing because I'm a writer. After 20 books I was asked to edit some collections, and got to deal with some wonderful writers and some wholly unprofessional twits. (They aren't invited back for new books that I edit, BTW.)
Hope this helps! ;>)