Before I get started on the course notes, I’d like to mention that the last two months has been hectic. I’ve been too busy to post or to do my courses. I’ve taken up the editing course again this week, but will defer the writing course until after the editing course is complete. That way, both courses will get my full attention, which will ultimately be better for me.
Unit 6: The Importance of Understanding
Relationships with anyone are delicate. They need to be worked on. The important factor for success for a partnership between two people, especially in a work relationship, is understanding the ultimate goal. All parties need to know they aim for quality and profit.
Quality: the end product needs to meet standards expected by the author and publisher.
Profit: there is no point publishing something if there’s no profit. Publishers need profit to survive.
The Editor/Author Relationship
Many works are edited three or more times. Yet it is not uncommon for an error to be found even after numerous edits. It’s also not uncommon for someone else to find an error after the work is published.
The editor must work ‘with’ the author and not ‘against’ the author. The number of edits is not a reflection on the author and does not indicate poor quality.
To obtain a more objective viewpoint, the author must be able to take a break after the first draft is finished. When they return to the work they will see things much more clearly.
The editor has a more objective eye because they are not as close to the work, they have not invested hours and hours of time working of the manuscript. And they are not emotionally connected with the work. Because of this, the editor easily spots the faults.
Where the author immerses themselves into the work, the editor must remain detached and objective. This does not mean, however, being cold and unfeeling.
The author and editor must understand what will be accepted and wanted by the audience. Because if disappointed, the audience may never purchase anything by that author again.
The Editor/Proofreader Relationship
The proofreader’s role is to help the editor bring the project to a stage of completion. The key to success here is communication.
Proofreaders need to stay up-to-date with language and style changes, new printing procedures and changes in industry standards.
And editor needs to be able to trust the proofreader in this regard and will expect an acceptable degree of accuracy.
A proofreader must detach themselves from the content and read character by character, line by line. They do not look for plot/story faults and will never be held responsible for not spotting these faults.
The Editor/Publisher Relationship
The level of responsibility will be determined by the publisher. It can be a difficult job as you may end up the ‘middle man’ between the publisher and the author. Remember, you are accountable to the publisher and that’s where your loyalty should be. You’ll need to be aware of deadlines, profit margins, sales etc but you will also need to be conscious of the author’s professional position.