Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

06/14/2011

Are Some Editors Too F**king Uppity?


Slash & Burn Editor

It seems some editors have admitted to canning a complete manuscript sent to them because they found a “technical” (grammatical) error on the first page!…Damn! Christ, in his second coming, wouldn’t stand a chance of surviving another crucifixion with these excessively puckered wordsmiths. 

I feel that correcting these type of technical, grammatical errors is actually part of the goddamned editors job. Hell, editors that judge the whole manuscript content based on an incorrect word structure or phrasing mistake (of which, by the way, all the past, great authors were guilty) are simply lousy at their perceived function in life.

Having said that…here is an editors view by Ann Patty in Publishing Perspectives that cocked my trigger and with which I respectfully disagree in part:   

Learn the F**king Rules! 

Dumb errors in books and e-books are becoming more commonplace — but do overstretched publishers give a damn?

I was delighted to see the New York Times article last week about Johnny Temple’s success with Go the F*ck to Sleep. In this era of groupthink at the large publishers, it’s cause for celebration when a small house such as Akashic Books not only succeeds with a bold bet, but even manages to hang on to the property when the corporate sharks circle. Alas, my delight turned to consternation when I read the verse quoted in the article.

“The cats nestle close to their kittens,

The lambs have laid down with the sheep.

You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear.

Please go the ____ to sleep.”

Even my Word program, as I typed the above, knows that the second line should read “The lambs have lain down with the sheep.” Such a mistake, with a word whose meter and rhyme is incidental in the line, in poetry!

In my many years as an editor, the most frequent lesson I’ve had to impart to writers — from fledglings to award winners to mega-bestsellers — is about the difference between the transitive verb lay, laid, laid and the intransitive verb lie, lay, lain. Some authors get it; some never do, even after eight or nine books. That’s why there are editors and copy editors and proofreaders, right?

Where was the editor on Go the F*ck to Sleep? Where was the copy editor, the proofreader? How did that laid slip by them? Isn’t it their job to protect the writer from such an embarrassing mistake?

Read and learn more

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!

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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