The Wordstitch Blog

- editing, business, and running an editorial business -


Because I work as both a project manager and a supplier of editorial services, I see projects from multiple points of view. This helps me to see the big picture and the details – the broader project requirements and each stakeholder’s individual concerns – and thereby seek solutions that satisfy everybody.

I’m also a freelancer for whom running a business is a pleasure, not a chore. I love thinking up new ideas and analysing my data to find out how best to put those ideas into practice.

This is where I think out loud about editing, business, and running an editorial business.

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How to edit interview and survey responses

By Hazel Bird | 14 June 2023

So, you’ve conducted some interviews or focus groups and transcribed the content, or you have a body of text collected from responses to a survey. You’ve written up your research in a report and want to include quotes from the interviews, focus groups or survey to provide qualitative evidence of your findings. But how do…

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What is high performance in editorial project management?

By Hazel Bird | 24 May 2023

Last updated 28 June 2023 ‘High performance’ is a concept that’s been around in business for a while. It can be interpreted in different ways and can apply to individuals, teams or whole workplaces. In essence it’s just jargon for ‘functioning very well in a chosen field’ and as such it can mean pretty much…

A flowchart to help you decide which editorial service you need

Which editorial service do you need?

By Hazel Bird | 19 April 2023

Last updated 2 June 2023 Knowing which editorial service to choose can be tricky. Everyone’s heard of proofreading, but what is it really? And how does it differ from copyediting or line editing, or even developmental editing? And when might you need an editorial project manager? If you contact an editorial services professional via a…

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What to do when you have too many proof corrections

By Hazel Bird | 1 March 2023

Last updated 1 April 2023 Too many proof corrections can play havoc with a project’s schedule and budget, and can lead to errors being introduced. My previous post looked in detail at why corrections should be minimised and what affects the number of corrections per page. It also offered a rule of thumb for when…

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How many corrections per page are acceptable on proofs?

By Hazel Bird | 22 February 2023

Last updated 1 April 2023 In the publishing world, we often talk about corrections being ‘heavy’ or ‘light’. It’s also common to hear frustrations about authors expecting to make ‘too many’ corrections or inexperienced proofreaders introducing ‘unnecessary’ corrections. But how many corrections per page are acceptable and what constitutes ‘heavy’, ‘light’, essential and excess? And…

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Why AI won’t replace human editors – and AI agrees

By Hazel Bird | 20 January 2023

Last updated 11 April 2023 Spend half a second on LinkedIn at the moment and you’ll find endless posts about the wondrous capabilities and/or ominous threats of ChatGPT and other AIs (and, by this point, endless posts like this one about how many such posts already exist). So I’ll keep this musing as brief as…

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How to keep track of large editorial projects

By Hazel Bird | 13 December 2022

Last updated 13 June 2023 To date, my longest-running project has been going for six years (and counting). In another case, I took over the project in 2019 but its first iteration had been published in 2007 (and goodness knows how many years it was in preparation before that). These are both large editorial projects…

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Why giving better-quality feedback to freelancers means better project quality

By Hazel Bird | 22 November 2022

It would be fabulous if editorial freelancers always submitted amazing work. But unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. Whether for reasons within the freelancer’s control or not, sometimes an editorial project manager (EPM) will be presented with work that is below the expected standard. Bad feedback versus balanced feedback In such situations, it’s easy for the…

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The value of intangible copyediting and proofreading skills

By Hazel Bird | 28 September 2022

Last updated 15 November 2022 The more you work as a copyeditor or proofreader, the more you come to understand that the job is about far more than spotting errors in spelling and grammar. For me as an editorial project manager, there are certain copyediting and proofreading skills that I’ve come to value in the…

How to hire a freelance editorial project manager

By Hazel Bird | 18 August 2022

Last updated 13 June 2023 So you need to hire a freelance editorial project manager. Perhaps you have an overspill of work from your in-house editorial team, or perhaps your business needs expert editorial help with a major project (such as the creation of a new website or the ongoing management of a journal). Whatever…

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How to absorb any editorial style guide

By Hazel Bird | 12 July 2022

Last updated 15 November 2022 One page, ten pages, fifty pages or a whole published book – an editorial style guide can initially seem like an overwhelming onslaught of information that you won’t ever fully grasp. Never mind herding cats, you might feel like you have a veritable zoo of style points all clamouring for…

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Why editors should know about PRINCE2

By Hazel Bird | 14 June 2022

Last updated 13 June 2023 It’s rare to hear clients or editorial project managers explicitly talk about using PRINCE2 (or indeed any specific project management methodology). So why should editors should know about PRINCE2? Well chances are, you’re probably already using PRINCE2’s ideas in much of your editorial work – even if you’ve never heard…

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Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, UK