Thursday, March 13, 2014

Breaking Down the House: Managing & Editorial Dept

Hi everyone! In Part 2 of this eight part series we discussed the Contracts and Legal department. In this third installment we'll discuss Breaking Down the House: the Managing and Editorial department.

I wish I had a Managing and Editorial department when I was working my novel The Consequential Element. Wearing all the necessary hats wore me out! I'm very proud of my end result, thanks to help from friends in the publishing industry. I don't envy anyone trying to do a self-published book without knowing a little something about each and ever department that is involved in getting the final product completed. If you want your book to succeed, you must acquire these skills, no exceptions. Well, of course you can hire talented people to do it for you if you have the bankroll to do so. :)

Managing & Editorial Department:

This department involves the managing editor and her/his staff. They are responsible for the manuscript from editorial through production. The managing editor works closely with the editors and production team in order to be sure that everything is on schedule. This includes not only the finished product, but also any advance materials that the sales or publicity departments may require such as ARCs.

What is an ARC? ARC means Advance Reader's Copy. They are used by publishing houses to gain early readers and to create pre-publication excitement from booksellers and publicity venues. These books are not for resale. They resemble the final book copy, have a near final book jacket, and usually contain promotional material. ARCs are expensive to produce and distribute so the publishing houses usually reserve these for the big releases.

Managing editors further handle not only the copyediting process, but most of the scheduling for the manuscript as well. What this means is that they develop in-house procedures so that they can control the workflow and schedules of freelance copyeditors, proofreaders, and indexers as well as the production schedule.

Daily functions of the Managing and Editorial department may be:

* Negotiating signed agreements
* Drawing up production schedules
* Review of the entire work before heading to production
* Hiring and overseeing the work schedules of freelance copyeditors, proofreaders, and indexers
* Overseeing the jacket and front matter by proofreading before sending to production
* Preparing the manuscript for setting once it is author-reviewed and copyedited
* If ARCs are involved, reviewing the sample designs
* Transferring the corrections made by the authors to the manuscript

Tara Powers at W. W. Norton & Co. did a very nice article at YPG. I loved how thorough she described the reasons behind the necessity for this department, and the detailed description of the overall functions. Check it out to get a sneak peek behind the scenes of what is involved in the life of the managing and editorial department and see how the guts and the glory of your manuscript come together to create a masterpiece - your masterpiece.

My second novel, Mists of Bayou Rhyne, is now with an agent out of N.Y., Marisa Corvisiero with Corvisiero Literary Agency who has shown a VERY huge interest in this book. We are working together to firm things up and to get the book in the best possible shape for presentation to the publishing houses.  Wish me luck!

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Until next time, I wish you all the best success in your writing.

Dee Ann