On the publishing side of business, communicative relationships can determine the success of book sales, the continuing care for an author, future partnering decisions, and much more. Nurturing the relationship that is forged between author and editor, publisher and reviewer, and so forth is important as these forces are what can help you, not just in the moment, but in the future as well.
If you’re a writer or an English major who aced every spelling and grammar quiz in school, you might think to yourself, “Hey, I’m pretty good with words. I understand punctuation, possessives, and present participles. I would make a fantastic copyeditor!” And you could very well be right. But before you dive headfirst into this profession, it’s important to know that for a good copyeditor, grammatical know-how is just the tip of the iceberg; successful copyediting requires a number of additional skills that have nothing to do with whipping out that red pen to correct a dangling modifier. This post outlines some essential copyediting skills that are completely unrelated to grammar and spelling.
The process of publishing a book has many moving parts. The marketing team needs to be studying their audience while the copyeditors and fact-checkers are working on the manuscript. The design team is creating the perfect cover while the author is trying not to have their third mental breakdown. There’s a lot going on. Things are constantly moving, going, working. But when you’re looking at it as an archivist, when the work is done, everything is still.
From the beginning, the goal for Odsburg was to make this book unique, successful, and as beautifully odd as the story it contained. We all had similar ideas about where this book should end up; getting there, however, was an entirely different matter.
Make the effort to form relationships with people you can trust who will challenge you. The gain is well worth the effort.
No matter how brilliant a piece of writing is, if it doesn’t know who the audience should be or doesn’t give enough context about its subject, the writing fails to be read, understood, and shared. It fails to communicate. The same holds true for book design.