How To Be a Book Editor

Being an editor is one of the most cost-efficient ways of getting your name on the cover of a book. There are several approaches in increasing order of efficiency:

  1. Actually edit the book. Choose an emerging topic, too novel or irrelevant for peer reviewed publication. Identify the frustrated researchers working on the topic, and offer them the opportunity to write a chapter for a book on the topic. The researchers will be glad to get their drafts published somehow: they will work for you, get no royalties, write you positive reference letters for your next job, and might even buy you beer at the next workshop. Organising a workshop on the topic is a good ploy to be given the pretext to ask people to do this work that will enhance your glory.
  2. Abuse your authority. If you happen to be workshop general chair, you can get your name on any book being edited by a workshop organiser, who might be following the previous approach in 1. This approach will a) make you a more prolific editor, and b) relieve you of any work related to editing the book.
  3. The Trojan horse approach. This is a miraculous strategy to get your name on a volume with zero work, and is therefore to be preferred to the two previous.
    • Identify a victim editor who is working or planning to work on editing a book; let us call this the target book.
    • From your pool of submissive researcher-droids whom you have convinced are obliged to you, pick one whose expertise is somehow related to the topic of your target book; we will call this researcher the Trojan horse.
    • Send the horse to Troy: convince the victim editor that he should absolutely include your Trojan horse as a co-editor.
    • Let the Greek (you) out of the horse: instruct your Trojan horse to invite you to be a co-editor without asking the victim for his or her opinion. Fait accompli works wonders here, and shame and embarrassment will prevent the victim from denying you of your editorship post-hoc.