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 you edit interview and survey responses while staying true to the respondents’ words?…Read More
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 reputable source such as the directory of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) (of which I am an Advanced Professional member) or ACES: The Society for Editing, they will be able to help you decide.…Read More
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 the number of corrections becomes too many (TLDR: anything above four per page probably needs to be investigated).…Read More
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 what should be done if the number is judged to be ‘too high’?…Read More
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 possible, because all I really want to say is this: to me it is patently obvious that AI won’t replace human editors – probably ever.…Read More
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 freelancers I work with but that are hard to pin down.…Read More
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 attention – and a client, author or manager poised to pounce if you neglect even one of them.…Read More
‘Don’t make trouble’ is an edict that we often hear as children. Making trouble means being difficult. It raises unnecessary issues. It causes aggravation. It wastes time and thereby costs money.
The idea of making trouble also goes against a core principle that proofreaders and copyeditors learn early on: if something’s good enough, don’t change it (sometimes phrased as ‘leave well enough alone’).…Read More
For an editorial project to meet its goals, multiple people (sometimes many) need to work together, but potentially without ever actually communicating with each other. This requires each person to have a clear understanding of their role in the process and the ripples (good or bad) they can create for others in the editorial team.
Part I of this article gave some suggestions on how the author, developmental editor and project manager can contribute to each other’s work and the work of people later on in the process.…Read More
It’s not uncommon to hear editors alluding to what they do as a kind of midwifery. Editors (for which read ‘copyeditors’ and ‘proofreaders’ throughout) help clients to ‘birth’ books – to bring them into the world in the healthiest and best-prepared state they can, with the minimum possible fuss, mess and pain. They support clients (parents), listening carefully to their desires for their book (birth plan) and doing their utmost to make those desires a reality.…Read More