Learning about the writing and publishing industry at uni is fascinating, especially since this is the industry in which I wish to work post-study.
So when I get to learn about practical processes that take place in the industry, I get excited.
A gifted editor recognises the gap between what a writer is offering and her vision for it, and has the courage and imaginative sensibility to articulate how this sometimes terrifying space might be bridged.
This stage of the publishing industry involves both the editing and rewriting of a manuscript. It also more than likely involves some
argument discussion over these changes.
But, as I have been taught in this class and classes previous, good editing is invisible, and a good editor knows how to convey “corrections” in a way that encourages the writer to improve upon the work they’ve already achieved.
(I use quotes around corrections because creativity in itself is already correct.)
Three levels of editing exist in this stage, and they are as follows.
- Substantive or structural edit
Structural edits focus on the arrangement of events in the manuscript.
- Copy edit
In this phase, the editor will use proofing symbols to make smaller changes, such as adding or changing words.
- Proofing edit
Although this stage also uses the proofing symbols, a proof edit focuses more on how clean the copy is.
This stage of publishing is concerned with making writing public, and one of two paths to publishing are chosen: the traditional business model or the platform sharing model.
True to their namesakes, the traditional business model is (you guessed it) the traditional method of publishing that follows an almost linear line from author to reader.
On the other hand, the platform sharing model is becoming more popular in this technological age due to its fluid nature. Several steps can take place at once and different tasks can be carried out by the same person.
And because online writing platforms are increasing in popularity, this stage of publishing is also concerned with navigating the space with a digital strategy, or employing the services of a digital strategist.
Which leads me to the next point.
Social platforms are the complex space between dissemination and discoverability.
This stage is not only about authors and publishers finding and engaging audiences, but the way that this happens, and the great importance of this.
One factor that is critically important in this stage is a book’s cover design.
A book’s cover plays such an important role in whether a reader will not only pick the book up, but if they will purchase it.
How many times have you been in a book store and picked up a book based solely on the cover?
Unless I’m searching for a specific book, that’s how I shop for books: I see a cover design that interests me, and if the blurb interests me, then I buy it.
Book reviews also play a key factor in this stage of publishing.
Some readers search for books that have received positive feedback from a literary critic, or professional reader or reviewer.
On top of that, if a reader finds that a new release has garnered negative attention from a well-known reviewer, then that reader may not purchase the book.
Not only will professional reviews impact the sales and popularity of a book, but reviews from everyday people also have an affect.
Think about it: if you find a book on Amazon or another online book retailer that you’ve been hearing about, but it has a lot of negative reviews from previous buyers, would you think twice about purchasing it?
Many fascinating and exciting stages comprise the process of publishing a manuscript
I know my favourite stage is immersing myself inside a world that an author has lovingly created.