Publishing and Printing Writers' Lounge

Book Research Assistant – What Kind of a Job is That?

There are plenty of interesting jobs in our world. Some of the jobs see people showing people into trains so that they can fit as many as possible, thus making commuting more effective (and safer). 

Some jobs can be tedious and difficult, no matter how much they sound good on paper. Other jobs, like book research assistant, can be very interesting, depending on who you do the work for and on which topics. If you want to become one, or have wondered what they do, here are some explanations.

Books Are not Just Written – They are Often Researched

Some books are written prior to the author doing any research, but that is a problem for another time. Most of the time, authors actually do research on a topic, making sure to understand it properly before weaving it into a novel or piece of literature. 

Well, more often than not, authors do not have the time to do the research on their own. The work has to be written and time is of the essence. During those trying times, they contact people who they consider to be good enough at tackling a variety of topics to be their book research assistants. The authors still have to do a lot of work, particularly in choosing the right topics and the details of the said topics.

Collecting Data – A Job Made Easier Today

Collecting data was once upon a time a much harder challenge than it is today. Yes, one still needs to do a lot of reading and reference searching, but, compared to the years before the internet, when everything had to be done with books and phones, this is far easier.

To collect the necessary data, one first needs to choose the right data and filter out the noise. There is a lot of data online, but not all of it is relevant or optimal for a certain piece of work. This makes the data collecting job much harder than it appears.

Interviews and Calls – Talking with Experts

Some people prefer reading about topics, but reading can only take you so far. Experts have always been the go-to if one wants to be informed about a topic. Some topics require expert assistance, while with others, you can get away with the general or specific information you can find in libraries and on the internet.

However, most authors have talks with experts at some point in time and when this job is delegated, then the research assistant has to get to it. Choosing the right experts is essential because not everyone’s story and way of presenting knowledge is the best for the book in question. Recording the conversation is helpful if the party consents to it (as part of an interview).

Book research assistants do a similar job to any other research assistant, in the sense that they help the main researcher, or in this case, the author, find the knowledge and data they need to finish their work and make it as best as possible.