Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

06/07/2011

Editors – More Needed than Ever!

Filed under: editing,editors,editors profession,John R. Austin — gator1965 @ 7:16 am

Editors behind the scenes - Working to make writers look good

Have editors been forgotten in todays world of  instant publishing?

NOT IF YOU’RE SMART!

See this post from my “Writers Welcome Blog”

Editors – More Needed than Ever!

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01/27/2011

Some Conclusions to ‘Who Controls Social Media?’


One week ago I posted “Who Controls Social Media?” on my Writers Welcome Blog. Today, on this blog, I am giving some answers to this question. Answers provided by Facebook responses to Matt Kinsman’s original article in FOLIO magazine For Publishers, Who Are the Gatekeepers of Social Media?

Some interesting answers with conclusions in line with my own that I provided on my Writers Welcome Blog post.

Follow-up article by Matt Kinsman, executive editor at FOLIO magazine:

So Who Should Control Social Media?

Most Say Edit. Many FOLIO: readers seem to favor edit. What’s your take?

A recent MPA (Magazine Publishers of America) panel debated who should be in control of social media at magazine publishers-edit, sales, marketing or even IT, which may ultimately bear the costs of social media. It’s a similar dispute to the way various magazine departments squabbled over prime Web site territory 10 years ago when they realized that yes, this Internet thing does have legs on the business side.

I pulled some of the Facebook responses to FOLIO:’s article about who ultimately should be the gatekeeper of social media, and listed them below. Considering the audience, it’s not surprising that most seem to feel edit should be in charge. However, several people noted that social media can’t belong to just one group, and should be divvied up across the organization (often out of necessity, given the resources in the current publishing climate).

Social media is integral for most publishers and everybody needs to be onboard (as one MPA panelist said, “Nobody goes around bragging that they don’t know Microsoft World”). So what do you think? Does edit rule? Should sales and marketing get their say? Or does social media require its own dedicated crop of specialists?

Read and learn more

06/07/2010

Editors

Filed under: editing,editors,Jennifer Tribe — gator1965 @ 9:24 pm


A little writers’ advice tonight…Understanding editors and editing. And I could probably use editing help on this blog!

This insight comes from Jennifer Tribe (pictured) of Highspot Inc:

If you are interested in creating information products, you will very likely deal with editors throughout your career. You may need someone to edit a book, review a special report, or tighten up a magazine article. Even if you are a brilliant writer, it always helps to have someone else look at the work with fresh eyes.

Most of these editors will be people you hire on a freelance or project basis. To get the most out of such a relationship, it helps to be clear about what you need and what you can expect.

To start, you should know what kind of editing you are looking for. There are many different levels and varieties of editing. Probably the three you will encounter the most are substantive editing, copyediting and proofreading.

Substantive editing. Sometimes called developmental editing, substantive editing looks at both the content and structure of a manuscript as a cohesive whole. Does the story or argument flow logically? Are there obvious gaps in a certain area? Too much information someplace else? Substantive editing can involve re-ordering large chunks of text, removing text, adding text, and even rewriting.

Copyediting. Probably the most misused of all the terms, copyediting is often used as a catchall phrase for any and all kinds of editing. Strictly speaking, however, copyediting checks for errors in grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation and other mechanics of style, internal consistency, cross-referencing, labeling and so on.

Proofreading. Proofreading is the final review of a fully formatted and typeset manuscript. It is meant only to catch small errors such as the odd spelling mistake or hyphenation snafu that might have been missed at the copyediting stage, or that appeared during the layout process.

The above definitions are fairly standard but there are variations. Not every editor defines editing terms in the same way. It is therefore crucial that you discuss in detail the exact nature of the services your editor will provide.

You will also want to clearly discuss the fee arrangement. Some editors charge by the page or word, while others charge by the hour. Still others charge a flat project fee. One method of charging is not necessarily better than other. Just be sure you know what you will get for your money. If you are being charged by the hour, ask the editor to provide an estimate up front of how long the project will take so there are no surprises when the final invoice arrives.

The best way to avoid misunderstandings is to have a written contract signed before any work begins. A contract will typically include a:

•detailed description of the services to be provided
•statement of the fees and payment schedule, and
•timeline for the work to be completed, including any project milestones.

Depending on the scope and nature of the project, your contract may also include a number of other considerations. An important clause to include, especially on a book project, is one that deals with copyright. You want to make sure that, as the author, you retain all rights to the material no matter how much editing or rewriting the editor may do on your behalf.

Many editors will supply a contract, but be prepared to create one yourself if they do not.

Here are a few final tips for working with an editor:

Some editors specialize either by format, by topic, or both. For example, an editor might be a specialist in audio scripts or might focus solely on medical books. You may want to look for an editor with particular expertise in your subject matter, especially if you are writing about a highly specialized field.

•Be open-minded towards an editor’s suggestions and changes. It can be hard on the ego to see your painstakingly crafted manuscript go under the editor’s knife. But keep in mind that if an editor is making alterations, it’s because he or she thinks it will improve your work. And in the end, a good product makes you look good too.
•Establish and maintain clear lines of communication. Know what your expectations are and convey them. Ask the editor to keep you in the loop as the work progresses.

11/14/2009

Magazine Editing – The Accidental Profession


Hi Friends & Followers. Hope all are enjoying their Saturday. I’m happy! My Florida Gators won a tough-fought game today against our past coach’s team: the South Carolina Gamecocks. That makes a 20 game winning streak! Highest in the nation.

Todays post is about how we sometimes “stumble” into a profession in the publishing, writing and editorial fields.

John Brady is a partner at Brady & Paul Communications, a publishing consultancy, and discusses this very thing in Folio Magazine, The Magazine For Magazine Management:

Magazine editing is not a job. It’s a calling. Like barbecue experts, most editors are self-proclaimed. Very few graduate from journalism school where they majored in magazine editing and come up through the editorial ranks. Most editors of my acquaintance have stumbled into their jobs through happenstance. They studied accounting (with an English minor), took a summer job at a fulfillment house, did some copyediting on the side, became an assistant editor when someone quit on short notice and now the title is: Editor-in-chief.

I call it the accidental profession. Or another way of putting it is—we don’t choose magazine editing. It chooses us.

Today, the job is changing dramatically as we find ourselves in the midst of enormous change in the profession. We are in the bunker in an age when magazines as we have come to know and love are at risk. Many are gone, and many others are in deep decline—as though they are saying: “Please help me, I’ve fallen and can’t get up.”

What Can We Do?

Foremost, let’s recognize that the dilemma is not primarily an editorial problem. In most publications, editorial has never been better. Advertising—or the lack thereof—is the problem.

What does an editor need in these troubled times? You don’t need more money. (In fact, don’t even ask.) You don’t need a bigger staff. That’s just more cost—and more people to worry and wonder about.

I think you may need an extra dose of savvy—which I define as the ability to learn and to work that knowledge quickly into the editorial mix while we ride things out and wait for an upturn in the economy and in the ad-page count.

A minor in psychology helps.

This is nothing new for us in the editing game. Inventors and magazine editors are seldom without problems to solve. It’s all part of the job description.

We all know how important it is to know what you want. It is also important to like being in charge, and now is the time for being in charge of change.

When the crunch is on, editors will go to great lengths to make everything change. They will hire new people and fire those who don’t seem to do the right thing. They will change the look of a magazine. They will change the story mix, the departments. They will do everything but change themselves.

Your Real Job: Editorial Sales Manager

To which I say—editor, examine thyself. Instead of taking yourself as an editor, consider a totally new persona. Your approach to each issue should be: This is not a publication, it is an EVENT.

You are in charge of selling tickets to an editorial event. Think of your job as Editorial Sales Manager.

Here we can take a page from the advertising playbook. Advertising changes constantly. Ad campaigns change. Ads within a campaign change regularly. Some ads are seen only a few times, and then replaced within a 30-day cycle.

Tradition is one of the major roadblocks to editorial change, a powerful force not easily overcome. “If it’s October, we’ve got to do the show issue”—that kind of thinking is paralysis in the current environment.

It all begins with a campaign plan. Revising and revamping your contributor guidelines is a golden opportunity to change the way you do editorial business. Get the magazine on a new track at ground level, and keep it there for purposes of editorial planning.

The editor’s job today goes beyond getting the magazine’s content right. As editorial sales manager (or event planner), your job is to SELL editorial, to stage the magazine as an ongoing advertisement for itself. This means creating events that are constantly evolving and changing so that each issue reads and looks “the same, only different” and, in doing so, arouses curiosity about the next issue.

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