Author Archives: cleverenz

About cleverenz

I'm Associate Professor of English at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX.

Is it necessary to have a Masters degree to be an editor? What grad programs are available?

It is not required to obtain a Masters degree to work in editing and publishing, but there are many graduate degree programs offered that could be beneficial to someone interested in this career choice. For the most part, a Bachelors degree and work experience in editing are the most important requirements to become an editor.

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What is the chain of command at a publishing company?


The publisher title is another name for the Chief Executive Officer or CEO of the company. All employees answer to the publisher whether directly or indirectly. The publisher is in charge of all the different departments of the company.

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Are university presses a dying breed?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not straightforward because there are quite a few university presses that survive and thrive today, but there are also a few that have shut down completely within the past few years. One thing is certain, as long as university presses receive funding from their universities, they will continue to operate, and as a result they will change with the times and adapt when the need arises.

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What is the relationship between author and publisher?

Both the author and the publisher have one shared goal in mind, to make a book succeed. In order to do just that, the author and the publisher should posses a passion and desire to get a book on the New York Time’s Best Seller list or the USA Today Best Seller list (to name a few). Whatever the factors/means of meeting that goal, the author and publisher work collaboratively in order to create a great book for its readers. When an author goes in search of a publisher – they seek advice, knowledge and encouragement…honest encouragement and constructive criticism. Along with being honest, publishers need to be supportive of their author. That is a huge part of the reason why authors seek out renowned publishers. Over the years, publishers have developed their own identities and reputations that either deter or attract great writers. Unfortunately with new technology on the rise, the relationship has become somewhat strained. (Top 10 Publishing Houses: Random House, Pearson, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Scholastic, Thomas Nelson, Holtzbrinck, Tyndale House, John Wiley)

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How much does the marketability of a book factor into the acquisitions process? How does “market research” for a book work?

The Acquisitions Process

When an acquisitions editor decides to pitch the book for the publication green light, marketing and sales factor into the equation. Oftentimes, the decision to publish a book comes down to the numbers: how many books will sell and at what price compared to the cost of actually publishing, promoting, circulating, and distributing the book. The information goes into a formula—a profit and loss (P & L) sheet. In essence, the marketability of a book comes down to numbers: how many books will actually sell, and how does that number compare against the cost of publication?

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How do you go about corresponding with/interviewing an editing client?

Communicating with clients is an important part of your job as a freelance editor. This can be tricky business when dealing with clashing interests and personalities but can get easier with experience. To be successful as a freelance editor you must develop good people skills and make the client feel like you are on the same side.   For the most productive relationship between copyeditors and clients, both party’s opinions must be taken in to account and they must be negotiating in good faith. Work can be much more enjoyable if the editor and the client can be flexible and communicate well in their collaboration.

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