The “How Does a Book Editor Work?” Edition

Culture writer Aisha Harris asks book editor Jordan Pavlin how she can tell when a manuscript is a potential best-seller.

Jordan Pavlin, book editor at Knopf.

Jordan Pavlin, book editor at Knopf.

Photo illustration by Juliana Jiménez. Photo courtesy Matt Collette

Listen to this episode of Working with guest Jordan Pavlin:

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On this episode of Working, the last of Slate’s third season, host Aisha Harris talks to Jordan Pavlin, a book editor at Knopf, about how she identifies future best-sellers, works with talented but sometimes temperamental authors, and fights for her book within the publishing house.

In a Slate Plus extra, Pavlin explains how she answers the most common question she’s asked: Will you read my novel? If you’re not a member, enjoy bonus segments and interview transcripts from Working, plus other great podcast exclusives. Start your two-week free trial at

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