As an author, it can be hard to know which developmental editor to choose because each editor’s process is so different. And unlike a line edit, copy edit, or proofread, it’s more difficult for an editor to do a sample developmental edit. You can ask a developmental editor for past client references or their portfolio, but even then it’s difficult to tell what exactly the editor contributed to the book.
I’ve found that the best way to make sure I’m the right fit for a potential developmental edit client is to explain my process thoroughly so they know exactly what they’ll be getting.
I didn’t know quite what to expect when I signed up for an in-person class through the University of Chicago editing certificate program. Would it be more similar to college classes or professional conferences I had attended? The Introduction to Acquisitions Editing class that I attended in Chicago was the perfect mixture of both: It was engaging 100 percent of the time; the class was small enough that I felt comfortable asking questions and talking; my classmates were mature professionals; the subject matter was something I was truly interested in; the instructor’s insights into the publishing industry were illuminating and practical.
But the actual classroom hours were just part of the overall experience of traveling to Chicago for a class. Along the way, I picked up some tips that I’ll put to use next time I attend an in-person class at the Gleacher Center. They may be of use to you, too, if you’re going to attend professional development certificate classes through the University of Chicago.
If you asked me what my plans for professional development were three weeks ago, I would have told you that I planned on reading some books about editing, following along with #ACESchat on Twitters, reading up on specific publishing-related topics online, attending ACES: The Society for Editing and Sigma Tau Delta conferences, and viewing ACES webinars.
My plans changed with one night of internet browsing that ended up on the University of Chicago’s Editing Certificate program webpage. After a few days of leaving the application half filled out, I applied for the certificate program on a Wednesday, was accepted on Friday, and was bumped from waitlist to class roster that following Tuesday—for a class that started the day before. Short story short, I’m now enrolled in an editing certificate program! Continue reading
At the beginning of February, I challenged myself to read selections from one lit mag every day for the entire month. As with most goals, I didn’t end up reading lit mags *every* day, but I did read a sampling. Here’s what I learned from this reading challenge: Continue reading
As an editor, writer, and book lover, I’m always looking for excuses to buy and read new books. I’ll be attending the ACES 2018 editing conference in Chicago this year, so I decided to find out whether any of the people presenting sessions had recently published books. Surprise surprise, they have! Some books are related directly to the presenters’ ACES sessions, and some aren’t. Here are six books by ACES 2018 presenters to add to your to-read list before attending their sessions in April: Continue reading
In January, I copy edited my first full book manuscript. Naturally, it was an exciting moment for me as an editor. I had prepared for the edit for a few months, but I didn’t know quite what to expect when I sat down to copy edit 46,000 words within one week for the first time. I learned a few things that will make my next book project easier to tackle.
Here’s what I learned (and some things I wish I did) while copy editing my first book manuscript: Continue reading
I just finished copy editing my first full book manuscript. After I had read through the entire thing, I was searching for “their” to check agreement, and I came across a sentence that was missing a word.
I stared at my computer in horror and blathered incoherent noises for a minute.
Later, as I was doing a final scroll-through of the Word document, I spotted an “every” that should have been “ever.” Oh no! I fixed it, obviously, but the negative thoughts rushed into my head: The manuscript is probably riddled with errors—egregious, noticeable errors—and I will be found out and never trusted with a book manuscript again. I’ll be stuck editing blogs until I go blind.
But then I remembered a very important lesson that I’ve had to teach my perfectionist self: Editors can’t be perfectionists. Continue reading
I edit one or two dozen articles each week and skim through dozens more on various websites. Over the course of a normal day, I come across overused words and phrases. Most of the time, I can hold my breath and deal with a “disruptive” here or 20 repetitions of “that” there. But there’s one word that I can’t handle anymore: The word “sexy” needs to be deleted from your content. Continue reading
I had an Upwork account for a year and a half before I finally landed my first client. It wasn’t that I didn’t try—I did. I applied for jobs; I even paid for Freelancer Plus membership. But getting started on Upwork isn’t something you can force. I just couldn’t land my first job on my own. But then two months ago, I finally got my first Upwork client. Continue reading
Steven Meyerhoff’s 31-year career as an editor of various forms of media, including newspapers, magazines, books and online content, has allowed him to focus on his passion, journalism that evokes an emotion from readers.
“It can be in a newspaper or magazine, bound as a book or online; it could be a photo, or a video,” Meyerhoff said in an email interview. “I love journalism that has a purpose, that makes people think or act, that makes people angry, or happy, laugh or cry, or in this day and age ‘share’ or ‘like’ or ‘favorite.’”
Meyerhoff discovered an appreciation for English and creative writing in high school because of its subjective nature. Continue reading