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Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog) RSS feed

Kinds of editors and levels of edit--what every writer and editor should know (updated)

Updated 8-19-19. Original post 7-22-13)

If you want to hire (or be) an editor, it is important to know the difference between what different kinds of editors do. There are developmental or substantive editors, assignment editors, story editors, production editors, photo editors, line editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders, among other specialties? Read up on the different functions in these stories (linked to below), so you know what to ask for and what to expect. These articles are sorted roughly by category; Freelance editing


What editors do: levels and types of editing
Fiction editing
Copyediting
Proofreading
Newspaper editing
Technical and academic editing
Freelance editing
The editor-author relationship
Whether editors are valued and valuable
Becoming an editor
Editing a website

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Editing checklist

by Pat McNees
What to do at various stages of editing a manuscript: the PRE-EDIT (as you interview, edit, and write), the SUBSTANTIVE EDIT (for content, organization, and approach), the LINE EDIT (for effective line-by-line writing), the COPY EDIT (for grammar and style), the PHOTO (AND CAPTION) EDIT, the PERMISSIONS EDIT (for copyright issues), PROOFREADING (for errors and formatting in final copy) , PRODUCTION EDITING (double-checking all formatting issues), and INDEX EDITING.  Read More 
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Editing: a craft or a business?

The "Medievalist says editing is a business, but really means it is a craft and she is an artisan, not a business person," writes Rich Adin in his essay Medievalist or Futurist? (An American Editor, 9-18-13). We are experiencing a shift away from the (good old) "medievalist" days when editing, viewed more as a craft than a business,  Read More 
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Online Tutorials on Proofing and Copy Editing

You can learn a lot about editing online, sometimes for free. Here are good examples of what's out there:
How to use Adobe Acrobat Reader XI to mark up a PDF Read More 
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Guides to scanning, digitizing, and editing for video and multimedia

Need to scan photos for a book, slide show, or multimedia presentation, and don't know a dpi from a pixel? Luckily you can find plenty of good tutorials online about everything from scanning old photos and recording telephone interviews to mastering various pieces of software and editing tools. Learn about Adobe Acrobat, Audacity, camcorders, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, digitizing analog recordings, time coding video, editing for the Web, and other mysteries  Read More 
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Memoirs, food, great storytelling -- ideal gift books

Books are ideal gifts for those who read, and the titles on these recommended-reading lists will make someone happy:
Food Memoirs and Biographies
Style guides and other books on editing (these are the ones aspiring writers and editors often can't afford)
Books to help you write your own (or someone else's) life story
Memoirs and personal accounts of vocation, avocation, occupation, profession, "calling" (a reading list)
Books for aspiring fiction writers and editors
Outstanding narrative nonfiction  Read More 
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Even Jane Austen needed an editor

"She is the great English novelist renowned for her polished prose, of whom it was once remarked: 'Everything came finished from her pen,' writes Anita Singh, arts correspondent for the Telegraph, in Jane Austen's famous prose may not be hers after all.  Read More 
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Hall of Shame for Books

Irked or appalled by a badly edited or sloppily produced book? Submit details about the book's shameful qualities to the Hall of Shame, sponsored by the blog An American Editor. Check out the first nomineesRead More 
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Books for Editors and Proofreaders

By popular demand, here's my list of books for those of you who are good at spotting typos and spelling errors and wonder if there's a career for you in freelance editing or proofing. Check out your skills first, and then develop them more fully. You can do a lot with these books, after  Read More 
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Check out Roy Blount's Alphabet Juice (and other first chapters of books)

"I do hope you realize that every time you use disinterested to mean uninterested, an angel dies," writes Roy Blount Jr., "and every time you write very unique, or 'We will hire whomever is more qualified,' thousands of literate people lose yet another little smidgen of hope.  Read More 
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