/The Editor’s Craft

Evaluating Nonfiction: One Editor’s Approach What can set your nonfiction manuscript up for success ... or doom it to the reject pile

by Peter Gelfan

Fiction lives or dies by the author’s storytelling and writing skills (and perseverance and some luck). For nonfiction, then, one might assume that likewise, an interesting topic well elucidated will do the job. However, the publishing industry and readers regard nonfiction a bit differently.

Subject Matter

Publishers generally have certain prerequisites for even considering a nonfiction project. The first of course is whether the subject matter has a market. In other words, they have to think that enough […]

By | 2018-05-16T18:45:51+00:00 |PG, The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process, Traditional Publishing|Comments Off on Evaluating Nonfiction: One Editor’s Approach What can set your nonfiction manuscript up for success ... or doom it to the reject pile

Spotlight on Developmental Editing An overview of why it’s needed, how it works, and what to expect from the process

When many people think of editing, they think of arcane symbols and scribbled margin notes in red or blue pencil – move this paragraph, delete these words, add a hyphen, correct that spelling, capitalize this letter. And while that is an important part of editing, it’s only one part, and it comes last.  So let’s talk about what comes first: developmental editing.

If you’re like many of us in the writing world, you wrote the first draft of your manuscript and then revised […]

By | 2018-05-16T20:26:55+00:00 |The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on Spotlight on Developmental Editing An overview of why it’s needed, how it works, and what to expect from the process

Candor, Tough Love, and the Delicate Art of the Bounce How our editors handle manuscripts that aren’t ready for editing

by Ross Browne

The first thing I’d put on the table in connection with how we handle manuscripts that need a lot of work could, I hope, go without saying. And that’s that we never want to be discouraging to an author. There’s no pleasure in telling a writer that a manuscript needs rewriting rather than editing or that its flaws run deeper than even an intensive developmental edit can reasonably be expected to fix. But our commitment to telling […]

By | 2018-05-21T21:48:59+00:00 |Developmental Editing, RSB, The Editor’s Craft|Comments Off on Candor, Tough Love, and the Delicate Art of the Bounce How our editors handle manuscripts that aren’t ready for editing

My Neighbor Is My Editor A seasoned pro takes aim at the notion that anyone with eyes can be an editor

This just in: your neighbor’s English skills are probably not up to the standards of book publishing.critique group

When I first began editing books, I had been a professional editor for more than twenty years, at a New York-area newspaper, a regional magazine, and several magazines with an international readership. Perfectionist that I was at the time, I could quote the rules and principles of news writing and periodical publishing as if I had written them myself. […]

By | 2018-05-03T21:14:32+00:00 |MF, The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on My Neighbor Is My Editor A seasoned pro takes aim at the notion that anyone with eyes can be an editor

What Editors (Really) Do A guide for authors, by Editorial Department founder Renni Browne

sam-gross-we-believe-that-in-a-former-life-she-was-an-editor-new-yorker-cartoonIn one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons by Sam Gross, a cat is maniacally clawing an upholstered chair, obviously not for the first time. In the caption its owner explains to her guests: “We believe that in a former life she was an editor.” Over the forty-five years I’ve been an editor, I’ve met plenty of people who think my job is to tear writers’ manuscripts to shreds. Other people think I […]

By | 2018-05-03T19:00:13+00:00 |RDB, The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on What Editors (Really) Do A guide for authors, by Editorial Department founder Renni Browne

Spotlight on Sentence-Level Editing Demystifying the differences between line editing, copy editing, and proofreading

In an earlier blog post we talked about the importance of developmental editing and why the focus on big-picture stuff – structure, book-spanning issues like plot or organization, character development, dialogue, and that sort of thing – needs to come first, before you spend too much time worrying about the finer points of style and wording. This time we’re going to talk about sentence-level editing, which is about the words themselves.

There are two issues that make getting a grasp on this […]

By | 2018-04-03T15:37:57+00:00 |The Editor’s Craft|Comments Off on Spotlight on Sentence-Level Editing Demystifying the differences between line editing, copy editing, and proofreading