Learning how to navigate relationships with authors is an essential part of being in the industry. There is bound to be some disagreement with the way the book is being edited, designed, marketed, and publicized. As the publicity manager for Ooligan Press, I have been in delicate situations where everyone’s feelings must be taken into account. And the most important thing I’ve learned from going through these slightly awkward situations is that communication is king.
Taking criticism is never easy, especially when it comes to a piece of creative work. Respectful and open communication between author and editor will lead to the most fruitful editorial process, which is why establishing solid author relations needs to be a high priority for a book editor.
While many aspects of the publishing industry are still adapting to these evolving circumstances, the way editors utilize programs such as Track Changes and Google Docs has set them up to not just survive during a pandemic, but thrive.
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.