This hot new track (read: listicle [still hot and new]) is for the editors out there. So, editors, grab that special style manual or manuscript and head to the dance floor (or, more appropriately, your desk)—we’re about to break it down for you with a sweet little recommended reading list. Oh, yeah.
Maintaining the attitude of a descriptivist rather than a prescriptivist when editing, particularly for fiction and memoir, is crucial to preserving an author’s voice.
Proofreading season is upon us at Ooligan Press. Really, that’s a bit of a misnomer—it’s not every year that all of the proofreading tasks align the way they have this winter. But align they have; we are rereleasing the ebook editions of Tony Wolk’s Abe Lincoln Trilogy just in time for Presidents’ Day, which means we have all three books that need to be proofread. We are also proofreading the ebook version of 50 Hikes (which publishes March 1!) and have just wrapped up on a proofread of Three Sides Water.
Given that there is overlap between the different stages of editing, and the fact that some smaller presses forgo line editing altogether, why should we even care about it? It’s a legitimate question. I think the line edit holds an important place in the publishing process, even if it doesn’t get the benefit of being a distinct procedure.
What tone to use when writing a letter to an author or making queries on their manuscript is often one of the most crucial yet most challenging parts of an editor’s job. There are many factors to consider: Where are you at in the editing process? Are you speaking to the author directly, or are you addressing a senior editor? Is this the author’s first novel, or are they more experienced? With so many factors to juggle and so many tiny nuances, it’s no surprise that this is the area that trips up most novice (and sometimes more senior) editors.