Many scientists are finding that a career in publishing can be an exciting and rewarding alternative to the traditional postgraduate professional trajectory of a researcher. Those who have made the move say that helping to mold a rough manuscript on a scientific topic into a polished book not only utilizes skills acquired in their training, but also often solves career problems.

A publishing job, for example, can offer flexibility in work sites and schedules, greater job security than many research positions, and a relief from the burnout that can result from focusing too intently on a single scientific question.

One editor's chair that's especially well filled by scientists is that of an acquisitions editor, who signs up new books for publication. "About half of the acquisitions editors I know got a Ph.D. in a science, and decided they didn't want to spend [many] years at the bench in one narrow...

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